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Jack Casey
Lighter Knots, 2003

A wide view of the installation.

University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
Florida Center for Teachers

Lighter Knots is a Florida “crackers” slang term, for good kindling. Jack Casey selected this term as the title of his project to reference both the resemblance of his sculpture to a burning ember and to give metaphorical recognition to the role a teacher plays in igniting a students‘ passion for education.

Lighter Knots was designed to take advantage of the architectural opportunities provided by the site. The lobby of the Florida Center for Teachers features a circular entrance defined by a wall, which occupies the second story of the four-story atrium. The elements of the sculpture trace the circular atrium wall, while breaching the wall boundaries on the top and bottom. The effect is to release the sculptural element from the confines of the wall to dance in the architectural space. Casey’s sculptural elements take the form of a large brush stroke, bending off the wall into the space of the atrium. The front of brush strokes are painted with interference colors in deep hues of blue and green, while florescent colors are used on the back of the brush strokes. The abundant of changing light from the atrium's window maximize the effect of the florescent colors, creating an ever-changing glow of reflected light on the surface of the wall activating the sunlight in the manner that lighter knots activate a flame.


A detail of one of the sculptural elements.

Detail of brushstrokes.

Lighter Knots made possible by Florida's Art in State Buildings Program