The Gentle Lady
PROJECT TYPE: Kinetic Wind Sculpture
DIMENSIONS: 50′ Length x 6′ Height x 10′ Depth
MATERIALS: Stainless Steel, Aluminum & Rubber
YEAR PRODUCED: 2017
UNIQUE FEATURES: Kinetic wind powered, it flies, sleek, aerodynamic, modern lines, reflective gold aluminum wings, suspended by stainless steel articulated arms, wings fly up and down vertically and gently roll left to right, wings automatically level themselves, sculpture incorporates counter balance mechanisms, sophisticated mechanical design that takes advantage of the simple rules of physics, as the motion of the wings pass across the surface of the building light and shadow create a symphony of soft gradients, shapes and sharp lines dance depending on the time of day, dampening system in the design of the wings can withstand 90 mph winds which meets city code
INSTALLATION LOCATION: Corrigan Station, 1828 Walnut Kansas City, MO 64108 (directions)
Corrigan Station parking garage is located in the heart of downtown Kansas City, just blocks from the Power & Light District, Crossroads Arts District and The National World War I Museum and Memorial (Liberty Memorial)
CLIENT: Copaken Brooks – Aaron Schlagel, John Copaken
ARCHITECT: Hermanos Design, Crossroads Arts District Kansas City, MO
PROJECT MANAGER: Joe Jiminez
“Joe Munson Studios has consistently delivered unprecedented creativity and ingenuity for our signature development projects. Joe and his team deliver their one-of-a-kind pieces on time and on budget and have set the bar for all inspired components with in our downtown real estate project.”
– Aaron Schlagel, VP of Development, Copaken Brooks
INSPIRATION: Joe’s love of flight was the inspiration behind this sculpture. His fascination with the marriage of nature and machine. Joe begins with just “a thought”, “what would be beautiful?” Joe has always found the wing of a plane or glider to be majestic and awe inspiring.
Joe also found inspiration for The Gentle Lady from genius Burt Rutan, air plane designer. Burt designed the record-breaking Voyager, the first plan to fly around the world without the need to stop or refuel. Rutan also designed the sub-orbital Space Ship One, winning the Ansari-X Prize in 2004 becoming the first privately funded spacecraft to enter the realm of space twice within a two-week period. The wings of The Gentle Lady look similar to the wings of the voyager. Joe also derived inspiration from the first remote control sailplanes that he flew as a young child.
The Gentle Lady takes on different characteristics from day to day. If you observe closely on a windy day, the wings are awoken in the gusts of kintetic energy, frenzied and chaotic. On a still day the wings may sleep, storing up energy, to be released.
The artist call for the Corrigan Station project was 100% focused on an air flow sculpture. The challenge, to enhance or play off of the parking garage’s natural air flow. Per Downtown Kansas City ordinance, parking garages are required to have a certain ratio of open area and include aesthetic enhancements. Copaken Brooks had visions of something grand, a sculpture that would be able to fill the open air space on the façade of the parking garage.
25 local Kansas City artists submitted concepts for the project, and in 2016 Joe Munson was awarded the honor. The fabrication process and final installation took approximately 4 months. You can view Joe’s The Gentle Lady, in person, at Corrigan Station, located near Power & Light / Crossroads district.