Visitors to Capital Community College’s campus will get an unexpected lesson in geography when they come to the five-story atrium located on the upper floors at the 950 Main Street.
Latitude, commissioned by the State of Connecticut for CCC as part of the 1% for art program at state buildings, is a kinetic sculpture created by Newton, MA-based Helmick & Schechter that is one of the city’s more unusual pieces of public art.
The sculpture is a 27-foot diameter ring that slowly turns on a motorized axis once every 24 hours. The slow rotation imitates the Earth turning from day to night and back again with silhoutte depictions of points on the plant at 41.7′ North latitude.
Denise Markonish, Curator of Artspace New Haven, described the geography lesson that Latitude represents:
Latitude is an unconventional map. From afar, the outer edge of the ring looks almost like fire or the corona of the sun, but on closer inspection recognizable silhouettes emerge: a mountain range, the Coliseum, a Shinto gate, a catamaran, a lofty pine tree. The radiating profiles are articulated on individual panels, and soon organize themselves into geographical coherence. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain leads across the Mediterranean to Rome, Italy and so on to the Caspian Sea, North Korea, the Pacific Ocean, and the Rocky Mountains, finally ending—or beginning, depending on how you look at it—with Hartford, the only silhouette in gold leaf.