Cristina M. Di Chiera, Director Individual Artists Programs, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
Rhode Island artist Paul Housberg was selected to install four kiln-cast glass panels in the Kent County Courthouse through Rhode Island’s statewide 1% for Public Art program. I ran this program from 2004 – 2008 and worked with Paul from the time that he submitted his initial proposal through the installation of his work at the courthouse.
A primary goal of the Kent County Courthouse public art selection panel was to commission artwork for the building that would, “take into account the human dramas that unfold daily within the courthouse, as well as the pressures that judges and staff undergo working in this environment. The architecture intends to convey a sense of dignity for all who enter it, yet it retains the feeling of a formal place of important business. Likewise, artwork is sought that may bring relief, clarity or diversion to the viewer while remaining respectful of the seriousness of the location.” Paul’s glass screens realize this goal–and then some. The light, colors, textures and composition of each panel are ethereal and beautiful. They transform an otherwise bland space on each floor of the courthouse into a place a beauty and contemplation, replacing views of traffic on busy Bald Hill Road with luminescent colors representing each New England season.
Paul was a pleasure to work with. He was willing to submit multiple proposals for the multiple sites within the courthouse and the final installation was almost identical to the proposal images that his team compiled in Photoshop and submitted to the selection panel. Photographs cannot do justice, however, to the quality of light created by Paul’s panels. He is a master of his craft and a consummate professional with years of experience in glass design, fabrication and project management. I was particularly impressed with is ability to pull together each aspect of the installation process, including navigating a heavily bureaucratic judicial administration for security clearances for his installation team, overtime arrangements and pay for courthouse security, and approvals to drill into existing infrastructure from courthouse facilities management. The result is a stunning public art installation that is receiving wonderful feedback from courthouse staff and visitors.
Jim Glenn, Utah Public & Design Arts
Paul Housberg has created two public art works for the State of Utah. One for the Tooele State Courts Facility and the other for the University of Utah Marriott Library in Salt Lake City. Paul’s concepts for both projects related well to the community and were integrated into the facility for which they were created. He communicated clearly to each committee his concept and intent. The final installed works are beautiful and accurate realizations of the Paul original proposal. Each was installed on time and within the budget allocated.
Working with Paul and his studio is a pleasure. Both he and his staff are professional yet personable. It is my pleasure to highly recommend Paul Housberg.
Kimberly M. Silvestri, Director, Space Planning and Construction. Women & Infants Hospital
As we approach the one year anniversary of the opening of the South Pavilion at Women & Infants Hospital, we wanted to take the time to look back on the people that helped make our project so special and your name immediately came to mind. When the South Pavilion opened one year ago we were not only the largest single family room NICU in the Country but one of the largest birthing centers in the country as well, so we impact the lives of many, many families every day. Because we served such a diverse population we wanted to be sensitive and mindful of different preference and beliefs so we wanted our Chapel to be a serene, peaceful, calm place that provided a religious feeling while being nondenominational. Everyone on our Committee was immediately struck by your work and how it seemed to just instantly meet the criteria we were looking for our Chapel. We greatly appreciate the time you took to come down and meet with us and listen to our thoughts and preferences for the space and also the time line and budget that we had to work with, and both were somewhat challenging.
The presentation you made to our Committee and potential donors was wonderful as you described the very interesting process of how you complete your art and how you would tailor it specifically to our installation. As a veteran of many construction projects and as the person responsible for the entire South Pavilion project, I would also like to thank you for your spirit of teamwork and cooperation. You blended seamlessly into the team of Architect and Construction Manager figuring out the technical aspects to get the project done on time, on budget and it is a beautiful, inspiring installation that everyone admires every day. We cannot thank you enough.
Everyone at Women & Infants greatly enjoyed working with you and we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors. Thank you again.