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Date Dial

Melanie Piech, California

I was born in Los Angeles and live in San Francisco. I have never been to Salina, Kansas, although my grandparents were from Kansas City, Missouri. I practiced law for 13 years, but took time off to raise our son. During this period, I realized that I have always been an artist at heart and needed to pursue that passion. I then enrolled in art school. The school environment helped me develop the technical skills necessary for the kind of sculptures I make. Two of my sculptures are on permanent display outdoors, and both were accepted based on proposals.

Date Dial is a calendar system. Six rings or dials of stainless steel, etched with numbers, represent, from the top down, the months, days and years. As the viewer turns the dials around the column, dates arrive and pass in the rectangular metal sights. While Date Dial has a definite front for purposes of displaying a date, where the metal sights are, it has no back and is designed to be visually engaging from all sides.

Although a calendar, its function is not to mark time, but to entice the viewer to leave a temporary private mark in a public space. Date Dial invites the viewer into a relationship. At first glance, the viewer becomes aware of the piece, then aware that he or she may interact with it and move its parts. Next, the viewer might become curious about its character or nature. What is the significance of its form? Is there any internal logic to the piece? Does the movement of its dials create any meaning? Upon achieving this understanding, the viewer, if he or she chooses, can set a date . . . present, past, or future . . . perhaps with relevance only to the viewer, boldly leaving a clue to a personal secret for others to observe, ponder, and eventually erase.

Site Sponsor: Salina Surgical Hospital

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