Bank of Maine Ice Vault (formerly the Kennebec Ice Arena) had been open for almost one year, and Peter Prescott asked me to come up with some art for the entry area.
With help from Kenneth Libbrecht’s book of amazing close-up photos of snowflakes, I painted one huge snowflake in the Ice Vault’s colors: blue and white.
While I was working on it, feedback was positive from folks walking by, but before it was finished, I could see that while the snow flake was interesting to look at while standing next to it in the admission line, it wasn’t bold enough viewed from any distance at all, given the arena’s muscular architecture and long white walls with contrasting massive royal blue girders.
I decided that painting a bold solid background on that part of the wall would create a strong graphic presence for setting off the snowflake, and serve to bring in another color, while breaking up the long white wall. I picked a custom mixed shade of orange, to relate to the wood’s color and contrast with the blues.
Quite a number of people didn’t like it, and complained! I was told they liked the snowflake, but not the orange and was asked to paint the background white again. I started to do that, but while I was painting over the orange, many passers-by were surprised and voiced their opposition, so I compromised by painting out the orange square, while leaving shades of orange around the snowflake image itself to see how that would go over….
What do you think of the final results?