Installations, Public Art & Custom Works
Austine creates Polarized Light Art, which she calls Polage® art, a term she coined from “polarized light collage” when she invented the art form in 1967.
Here you'll find a sampling of some of the larger public works and installation commissions she's completed over the past five decades of her career so far.
Use the L & R arrows or swipe to leaf through the portfolio pages. Click the grid icon above to view thumbnails of the portfolio. Click the "i" icon below for more info about each piece.
Boston Museum of Science, Boston, MA
Completed in 1987, this 25 foot by 27 foot installation titled “Human Connections” is the largest commission to date.
The imagery arrayed on 38 hexagonal light boxes, each 5 foot across, tells the story of the history of Communication from earliest cave markings to our journey into space. Mounted on the wall of the Mugar wing of the Boston Museum of Science, it can be viewed through rotating filters in the environment, which cause the images to change. It was originally planned to be displayed for only 10 years, but has become a popular exhibit at the museum for over 25 years.
Maui Jim Sunglasses
Without polarized lenses, these artworks appear “invisible” except for a colorful Maui Jim signature and a subtle overlay image.
But when viewed through Maui Jim Polarized Plus® glasses, they magically spring into bright, colorful Hawaiian images. Austine’s images of nature are a perfect fit for Maui Jim, and Maui Jim sunglasses are a perfect fit for Austine! Maui Jim no ka oi.
Spring Mountains U.S. Forest Service Visitor Gateway, Mt. Charleston, NV
I was chosen to create a 70 foot long window installation for the new Kyle Canyon Gateway Visitor’s Center that opened last May in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Center, Northwest of Las Vegas. The project was developed by the U.S. Forest Service and the breathtaking new facility is a 4000 square-foot center where visitors can stop on the way up the mountain to enjoy the area’s beauty and take a cool respite from the desert heat.
For information about visiting the Spring Mountains Gateway, go to www.gomtcharleston.com
Coastal Oregon Refuges Headquarters, Newport, OR
Commisioned by and for the Oregon Coastal Refuges Headquarters, this motorized Polage mural measures 4′ x 5′ and is served by a 7′ diameter polarizing filter inside the wall where it is displayed. The image changes slowly and continually from the first view you see above with puffins to the second with ducks. This piece represents the two main populations of the area during the summer (puffins) and winter (ducks).
Margaritaville Casino, Las Vegas, NV
Kinetic morphing art installation created for the first Margaritaville casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Each of the three works is approximately 28” x 52” and is created as a matrix of eight smaller art panels. The front face of each column is a kinetic image that continually morphs from one image of classic Jimmy Buffet iconography to another.
No moving parts are used. Special panels of liquid crystal fluid between glass sheets cause the change as a predetermined electrical signal twists the molecules in the fluid. The light is provided by special LED panels. The side and back panels on each column are photographs of the front panels and do not change.
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul Minnesota
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul Minnesota commissioned Austine to create 10 pieces for the ceilings of preoperative and recovery rooms. The intent was to “distract” the children confronted with the very scary prospects awaiting them. This is the first major installation in which Austine used her new “liquid crystal” type Polage® art. The artwork continually changes but has no moving parts. In this video Austine explains a bit of the history of this commission and what she was thinking about when she created it.
Austine has created several children’s hospital installations including this and for the San Diego Children’s Hospital.
Two liquid crystal panels forming one image in the ceilings of 10 Pre-op and Post-op rooms. Frame is white Corian that fits in the ceiling where a normal fluorescent light would be.
The two views of the ceiling panels depicted show a slow change between the two allowing the children to discover new animals as some disappear.
Labyrinthe de Lumiére, Paris, France
The Labyrinthe de Lumiére is a 64 foot long mural [the first three panels of sixteen are shown below] created for the La Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie in 1989 to commemorate the bicentennial of the French Revolution. The piece celebrates 200 years of revolution in science and technology.
This is one of the artist’s favorite large public works, since it involved so much research into an area that she really enjoys: science. In these first panels you see an image of Icarus in a hot air balloon which morphs into a space shuttle. It took 2000 years from the dreams of Icarus to the first time mankind saw rooftops from the sky–the Montgolfier Brothers were responsible for that flight. But from that historic moment to flights on the space shuttle was a mere 200 years.
This mural is packed with informative imagery that will hold a viewer’s attention while a docent or guide weaves together the stories of technological development. The imagery acts like signposts or milestones in a journey through history.
This project required months of research and hearkened back to the earliest days of art, when art was the story of culture told in symbols, telling the story of our cultural development. Similarly, this piece tells the story of our development in science and technology.
Bubinga Lounge, Reno, NV
This project represents a departure for Austine, who’s usual subject matter includes nature, philosophical subjects, science and history. This series of large works are, in the artist’s words “pure fun.”
These polages are no longer on view, but you may contact the studio for the possibility of resale or a similar commission.
Installations, Public Art & Custom Works
Gallery of Custom, Installation and Public Artworks by Austine Wood Comarow.
Click on a thumbnail at right to enter the quick view portfolio.