Lenexa installs hanging sculpture by San Francisco artist Shan Shan Sheng

Lenexa public art
Lenexa’s public art committee selected Shan Shan Sheng to create ‘Splash,’ a sculpture with 31 pieces that now hang near the indoor aquatics center.

Lenexa’s recreation center is getting a new piece of artwork this week.

Installation began today of an abstract structure near the entrance of the indoor pool. Shan Shan Sheng, a San Francisco artist, designed the sculpture, named “Splash,” which is made of 31 colorful pieces of cold-cast glass panels and suspended from the ceiling. The sculpture is designed to capture the experience of entering water.

Sheng said the indoor aquatics center was her inspiration for the artwork in that space, which the pieces are designed to activate.

“This is a community; we want (the art to be) active,” Sheng said. “And it has diversity, so it has different color, and different pieces. Some are bigger, some are smaller. And it’s kinetic; some of the pieces are moving.”

Gary Ristow, parks and recreation director, said Sheng’s artwork was ultimately selected because she has performed numerous large and small installations around the world, and her work appealed to the city’s public art committee, which recommended her to the city council.

“The city of Lenexa values public art and has a history of incorporating artistic elements within public infrastructure,” Ristow said. “In this specific piece, it is the goal to activate the entrance to the rec center and create a threshold of color, space and light throughout the course of the day. It is intended to portray a splash of water complementing the rec center’s premier natatorium space.”

Ristow said the contracted price for the sculpture is $98,900. The civic campus art projects were funded partially from the CIP project and with funds allocated to the funding of public art on a general level.

Sheng said hanging up each piece of the sculpture is part of the artistic process. The project takes three to four days to install and be immediately visible to the public after completion.
The city will host a dedication ceremony in the future, although a date has not been set yet.

“We are really pleased to add this amazing piece by a world class artist for our citizens and rec center patrons to enjoy,” Ristow said.

The sculpture is one piece of the Lenexa Civic Center Campus Arts Master Plan, which identified locations on campus that would be suitable for public art.