EQUALS FinalEquals  (with reflection)

Artist Statement

Throughout history, minority communities have been disproportionately affected by inequity in vulnerability to environmental health concerns and climate change.  From the structural injustices against Native Americans to the Civil Rights Movement, we all bear witness to the injustice of our society in the health of our environment around us.

When our environment is damaged, we are damaged.  Underneath all of the complications of society, we are equally human and part of nature. We are all part of the problem and the solution.

‘Equals’ is a sculpture intended to evoke a feeling of being part of the environment.  It encapsulates the feelings behind the environmental justice movement’s ideals.  It is a play upon the narcissism of our culture with our desire to look into mirrors.  The mathematical sign itself is a reference to the fact we are at a school learning about mathematics, sculpture, and the environment in the same place – the arts and science blended.


‘Equals’ holds two identical reflecting panels that lean slightly forward so it reflects directly at the passers by of the Sarah Simonds Conservatory main walkway with a slight reflection of the wetlands, angled away from the sky.  Their rectangular shape contrasts with the natural forms of the wetlands backdrop while simultaneously capturing the wetland foreground in the reflection.  The effect of ‘Equals’ reflection is that we are one with our environment and we are all equal.  The intention is to create a site specific piece work that encapsulates the academic location and the social meanings behind environmental justice.

Equals - Elevation

The non-toxic stainless steel poles that erect ‘Equals’ are designed to elevate the reflective panels while blending into the background.   From base to top, the sculpture is a total of twelve feet high which allows for water level fluctuation and installation location depth.   The reflective stainless steel panels are two feet wide and eight feet across.  It is mounted to the ground through a system of anchors and environmentally friendly cement blocks each weighing approximately 320 pounds.  This anchoring system holds the sculpture firmly in place in case of changing weather conditions, elevated water level, or a theft attempt.

The materials were selected not only for their visual impact, but to have minimal impact upon the sensitive surrounding ecosystem.  The stainless steel and cement materials used are non-toxic and sustainably sourced.   Accessibility is not complicated since the same pathway that all passersby currently use is the subject of the reflection. The sculpture is placed in the buffer zone of the wetlands.

20140228_145017Location of Equals is to right of path in wetland area.

The sculpture supports the UW Bothell mission statement to be an inclusive university where interdisciplinary study is encouraged through blending the arts and the sciences in one symbolic sculpture.

EQUALS Final - Without Reflection

Equals  (without reflection)





Price Per Unit


Polished Stainless Steel Sheets


24” x 48” 22 Ga.



Polished Stainless Steel Metal Tube


2” x 96”



Environmentally Friendly Cement

80 lb. : 13

2’ x 2’ x 2’



Labor – Welding

2 hours



Labor – Installation

10 hours



                            Grand Total                  $913.65


10 responses to “Equals

  1. Using reflecting material is a great way to engage people with the art piece because they can see themselves in the mirror. The idea of what we do will also shaped our environment is absolutely important to wake people up. Many of us didn’t realize how important our action will impact the environment, by reading the proposal, I hope myself will rethink every time I see a mirror.

    • SkipYourCommute.com

      Thank you very much! I really appreciate the comment. It’s great to see the message come through that people need to wake up and make a difference.

  2. “It is a play upon the narcissism of our culture with our desire to look into mirrors. The mathematical sign itself is a reference to the fact we are at a school learning about mathematics, sculpture, and the environment in the same place – the arts and science blended.” I loved this!! It is so true, and the placement of your piece is perfect. I’ve never seen this type of art before, or aware of it for that matter until this course. I can see the benefits of it. It makes people think especially when we are seeing ourselves with our amazing Mother Nature in the background. Also great job on your budget piece. Looks very professional.

  3. SkipYourCommute.com

    Thank you jazmintapia! I, too, was new to the concept of using mirrors in art like this. One of our classmates, Christina, had mentioned that mirrors are a good medium and I had never thought of that before either. Rob Mullholland was my inspiration for the thought behind seeing ourselves in the environment in the art. His work with the piece Vestige and Wraiths were very inspiring to me. I thought I’d explore other ways to use mirrors and combine symbolism. Thanks for the compliment on my budget skills – I surprised myself there too! The polished stainless steel panels were much more inexpensive than I expected them to be.

  4. It is very simple and straightforward. I like it! The word “Equal” itself can be very soft, but sometimes it can be very powerful depending on the situation and how you approach it. I think it applies to all the social issues we face in our society, such as racism, classicism, gender issues, human right issues, and environmental problems as well, and it is the ultimate solution.

    “When our environment is damaged, we are damaged.” this sentence really touched me. It is so true! Human being can’t survive without the nature. We coexist. I think it’s really important to remember things that we have taken from the nature. and it’s our time to give back.

    Thanks for your great art work!! You inspired me in so many ways!

    • SkipYourCommute.com

      Thank you for saying it inspired you! Your comment made me smile. That’s very kind. I’m glad you agree that we coexist with nature and that it is time to take better care of it. 🙂

  5. I really like the concept of your project. It is very straight forward in its meaning, so its simple to understand and connect with. I think the key aspect of your design is that the metal is reflective, because it really emphasizes that, “we are one with our environment,” because you can see yourself within it, in the wetland. That same reflection being on an equals sign, just makes the message of “Equals” stronger.

    • SkipYourCommute.com

      Thanks for your comment! As for the piece being straightforward, it seems that art reflects the personality of the artist. I’m a VERY direct person, so it makes sense that my art is no less direct. Honored you liked the piece! 🙂

  6. I really enjoy this idea. I feel you put a great deal of thought into everything from the type of material you would use to how it would behave in the wetlands. I do like the interactivity of the piece and the meaning you intended with that. Great job.

    • SkipYourCommute.com

      Thank you for your kind words! I did put some serious thought into this piece and it is great that it shows. Thank you for acknowledging the work. It means a lot to me.

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