Soaring glass and steel sculpture installed at UC Davis Education Building

Slideshow: use arrows to view next slide. Above: The glass and steel sculpture was designed as a crowning touch to the health system's Education Building in Sacramento.



Artist Roger Berry and his team assembled four 17-foot sections of the sculpture in the building's courtyard.



The Clarksburg-based artist is known for working with large pieces of steel, creating swooping arcs and spirals for outdoor sculptures.



The piece is entitled "Emergence" — inspired by stem cells, which have the capacity to change into something new and different.



The sculpture required Berry's team to attach nearly 700 pieces of small, multi-color dichroic glass to the steel framework.



The special glass, often used in laser technology, can both reflect and transmit light.



Once the glass was in place, a massive crane lifted the sculpture into position.



The crew then attached suspension cables to it from brackets around the building's oculus.



The installation process impressed employees and visitors alike as they watched the artwork take shape and get hoisted into place.



The sculpture now soars above the courtyard, casting its unique colors throughout the building and delighting all who see it.



The art program at UC Davis Health System contributes to an environment that promotes serenity and healing, stimulates creative thought, and encourages collaboration.






Posted June 22, 2010

A colorful glass and stainless steel sculpture was put together earlier this month, piece by piece, as its artist readied it for installation high above the courtyard of UC Davis Health System’s Education Building in Sacramento.

Extending out in three, 17-foot-tall sections, the soaring art captures and reflects sunlight as it greets students, faculty and visitors each day.

About the artist: Roger Berry

Created by local artist Roger Berry, the artwork, entitled “Emergence,” adds a crowning touch to a building UC Davis opened four-and-a-half years ago to house its medical, nursing and public health classes. Berry, who works out of a converted barn next to his home in the delta community of Clarksburg, is an artist known for shaping large pieces of steel into the swooping arcs and spirals of sundials.

The installation process took about one week, as Berry’s three-person team first had to attach nearly 700 pieces of colored glass to rings on the swirling-shaped steel framework. Weighing nearly 2,000 pounds, the piece was hoisted into place by a massive crane, where it now suspended outside the four-story building.

Susan Willoughby © Susan Willoughby“Artwork contributes to an environment that promotes serenity and healing, stimulates creative thought, and encourages collaboration.”
— Susan Willoughby

“The art program at UC Davis Health System is an integral part of the commitment to create an environment that fosters excellence in education, research and patient care,” said collection curator Susan Willoughby. “Artwork contributes to an environment that promotes serenity and healing, stimulates creative thought, and encourages collaboration. We commission artwork from artists who live in our region because they have the best understanding of our patients and their families, our staff and our students.”

Inspired by stem cell science

Emergence welcomes everyone to the Education Building © UC Regents
"Emergence" adds a crowning touch to the building where medical, nursing and public health classes are held.

Berry’s work can be seen throughout Northern California, including the Crocker Art Museum, Stanford University and inside the life sciences building at UC Davis, where he created a 51-foot-high DNA sequence. For his latest creation, Berry was inspired by his friend Mark Zern, a professor of internal medicine and highly-regarded stem cell expert at UC Davis.

“Mark explained how stem cells have this remarkable ability to change and become new and different types of cells,” said Berry. “It’s called differentiation. In my sculpture, I wanted to reflect that amazing capacity to become something new and different with each day.

“Emergence” represents the wonderful mix of science and art.”

Berry used dichroic glass, a special type of material often used in laser technology to both transmit and reflect light. Each round wafer of the sculpture can appear to be different colors, depending on the viewer's vantage point and how the sun is reflected upon it.

“The mix of high-tech glass and everyday steel brings together the modern with the ancient,” he said. “Medicine and science are like that, too. Healing relies on both the technologies of today and the human touch that dates back even before Hippocrates or Archimedes.”

Berry is a native of Chico and holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of the Pacific. In addition to his art work, he and his wife oversee a 20-acre vineyard on their Clarksburg ranch.