International Women’s Day: Women Artists Who Have Enriched the Built Environment

As designers, we believe in the power of art to add layers of meaning, emotion, and cultural identity to our projects. Integrated art can serve as a focal point, as a means to guide users through the space, or as a subtle accent. The relationship between art and architecture culminates in more engaging and memorable spaces that positively shape the user experience.

On International Women’s Day, Helix is proud to reflect on the remarkable contributions of women artists whose work has enriched our environments. Our collaboration with each artist inspired us to transcend the functional aspect of design and celebrate culture and community.

Emily Alverez: Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri – Aquatics Center at Camp Prairie Schooner

As part of the Girl Scout’s commitment to instill courage, confidence and character in young girls, the organization commissioned Latina artist Emily Alverez for the custom mural. Emily embraced the high ceilings and expansive wall to create a piece of art that is as bold in its messaging as it is with its colors. The multi-faceted mural celebrates the strength of Girl Scouts of all ages, races, and abilities. Each element offers something that resonates with any Girl Scout who experiences the space.

Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin: Kansas City Police Department Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

Translating traditional quilt-work into the building facade with vibrantly colored bricks, fabric artist Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin partnered with Helix on “Community Dignity” and “iNeema”. These pieces represent the connection between the police and the neighboring community, and offer a message of inner peace. Local residents participated in the installation of the pieces, strengthening the relationship.

Marcie Miller Gross: University of Kansas Medical Center, Health Education Building

Marcie Miller Gross was intrigued with the distinct, elegant forms of the compresses, plasters, and bandages illustrated in Cours d’ operations de chirurgie, found in the Clendening History of Medicine Library at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The original shapes were informed by the specific types of incisions made by the surgeon and evoke the topography of the body. These elemental forms are familiar, abstract and poetic in their simplicity.

Anne Lindberg: Richard Bolling Federal Building

Artist Anne Lindberg conceived a four-story installation in the public escalator bank of the Richard Bolling Federal Building, one of the largest office buildings in Kansas City. Inspired by the iconic exterior facade, Anne etched ribbons of color onto a glass “curtain,” bringing a colorful, poetic flow to the space.

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