Artist Walter Gordinier has created striking architectural and cast glass sculptures for colleges and universities, corporations, and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad. The Portland, Oregon-based sculptor studies light and uses it to create color in his works. The three elements commissioned by the Library Board of Trustees employ dichroic and cast glass, metal, paint, and acrylic tubing. In all three works, the interplay between sunlight, interior light, and the elements of the sculptures create varied effects throughout the day. Contrasts of color, iridescence, and luminosity are evident in all parts of the work.
The aerial sculpture is entitled Journey to Janus after the Roman god portrayed with two faces who sees both the past and the future, just as the library is the keeper of the past and the future. The features of the aerial sculpture allude to the Odyssey, the great poetic voyage of antiquity. In this piece, that voyage is a metaphor for the library, speaking to the magic, adventure, and fulfillment of dreams that transcend time. Within the atrium, the boat—a vessel represented by the cone—begins the journey. The sphere and articulated line are a compass to the future unknown that is symbolized by the crystal dichroic glass alignment where the passage ends its course. The tubes, located in the second floor spine, extend the piece by representing change and movement—a sail.
To Gordinier, it is up to the artwork, "to create an experience of passage, an event for the spirit," while providing, "a point of contemplation and revival [that] will be worth re-seeing tens of times, each time, fresh."