Early last year, the artist team of Marek Walczak and Wes Heiss invited more than 1,500 community members and Chico State faculty, staff, and students to pose for profile photographs. The artists’ plan was to transform the photos into etched stainless steel silhouettes to forever honor the diverse and vibrant community that makes up the campus spirit.
This month, 996 of those silhouettes were installed in their new home on the south wall of the new Arts & Humanities Building along Second Street.
“We felt that the idea of inclusivity should be key to the creation of our artwork,” the artists wrote in their project proposal. “We hope that these individuals will stand like totems on the facade of the arts and humanities building, quietly watching over the equally diverse group of people who will see it every day.”
Richard Berlanga, a director of sales from Roseville, came to visit Chico to see Facewall because both his parents participated and were photographed. He called Facewall a great idea because of its community involvement and something he’s never seen before.
“It’s like a snapshot in time,” he said. “It’ll be pretty cool to come back here with my daughter 20 years from now and show her that her grandparents were a part of history.”
Facewall by the Numbers
- 79 stainless steel totems
- 12 unique profiles on each totem
- 42 feet across and 11 feet tall
- 996 faces featured
The artists are currently working on a website to list whose profiles are on the wall, which will be available at www.facewall.me soon.
The Arts & Humanities Building will open for use in fall 2016.