This week, patrons and students at The Dance Foundation (TDF) in Homewood will see a new re-designed and re-installed, 81 piece sculpture spanning three sides of the Foundation’s building.
Created by Jane Timberlake Cooper in 2009 (when it was Children’s Dance Foundation), the iconic sculpture addressed a particular design challenge: making the utilitarian, gray metal-clad boxy building that was hard for visitors to find, stand out. The art also needed to express the mission of the community it was serving.
The piece, which was one of the first of its kind in Birmingham, made TDF one of the most recognizable buildings in the community.
“The sculpture represents who we are and helps invite people into our space along with helping them find our building which has always been a challenge,” said Diane Litsey, Executive Director at The Dance Foundation. “It captures all the creativity, the movement and the colorful warmth that happens inside the building, and then reflects it on the outside of the building.”
Taking Care of a Special Piece of Art
The Dance Foundation recognized the sculpture needed a great deal of maintenance because of Alabama’s weather.
In addition to repairs, TDF decided to redesign the sculpture.
“This gave us an opportunity to re-think the piece and the artist was very generous – giving us some ideas and really saying – “this is your piece of art – let’s re-imagine it together.” added Litsey.
Big Jigsaw Puzzle
Re-designing and re-installing the sculpture was also not an easy task. Litsey described it as putting together a “big jigsaw puzzle.”
“The company, Alabama Soda and Abrasive Blasting did an exceptional job. We are beyond thrilled how well they took care of everything.”
A Community Treasure
Founded in 1975, The Dance Foundation is one of Birmingham’s most treasured creative arts institutions. Presently more than 650 dancers from toddlers to teens to adults participate in their studio classes/programs. Additionally, numerous non-profits use the space in Homewood.
Beyond the physical structure, The Dance Foundation provides innovative programs throughout our community, reaching out to more than 2000 students and participants, from pre-school and elementary schools to social service agencies.
The Dance Foundation is currently enrolling students for the 2019/2020 school year. Learn how you can sign up your child (or yourself – there are adult classes) for the fall at http://www.thedancefoundation.org/classes/