Travis Daniel Installs New Sculpture in Camden
A native of Camden, Travis Daniel is a fervent advocate for Camden’s downtown revitalization. Over the years he has completed multiple projects which have been means to this end. Along the way, he has continued to educate himself on the principles of creating a thriving downtown area. Through his research, he learned about the concept of “placemaking” which has shaped his most recent project.
Placemaking is the idea of re-imaging underutilized public spaces into moments - places that pedestrians will connect with, and that will generally contribute to the public's overall health, happiness, and well being. He understood our downtown needed more of these "moments," and as the owner of several downtown buildings he knew the perfect place that could use some re-imaging. At the crossing of Jefferson Street and Adams Avenue, there was a large blank wall at the end of a block that is particularly visible as you drive into the downtown area. He saw this as a “blank canvas.” He considered many different options but settled on the idea of a letter sculpture.
The sculpture has been in the works since last fall, and the majority of it was installed this week. It was carefully designed to reflect and influence the developing aesthetic of the downtown area. The letters are plate steel, and the platform holding them is concrete - both incredibly strong and durable materials. Travis chose them because he hopes the public will actively engage with the sculpture. “I wanna see people walking on the concrete, climbing into the letters, or simply sitting on the platform.” He intends for this sculpture to be an additional draw to Camden's downtown.
However, this is an ongoing project and will be added onto as time and resources allow. At completion, it will be a multi-sensory installation. The concrete planter within which the letters stand will have stained cedar planks bolted to it. Ivy will be planted behind the letters which will climb up along the wall creating a living, dynamic background, and fragrant foliage will be planted within the concrete planter. LED lighting will light up the sculpture in the evenings and will be adapted to any holiday with colored lights.
From design to installment, the sculpture was completely funded by Travis himself. Designed by yours truly, the technical drawings for the letters' sizes and shape were done by Everett Contracting, the letters were constructed by Steel Deals in Camden, and any onsite construction and installation was done by private contractor, Ron McCann. The space upon which the sculpture is constructed was leased to Travis by the City of Camden. Travis wants to convey a special thanks to all of these entities and believes that only through their collaborative effort was this project possible.
So he invites you to get out there and enjoy it! Sit in the 5ft C, or climb into the negative space of the D, give it a hug...take a picture, and be sure to tag Travis and #CamdenAR.