Slate Art Gallery approached Modern Metal with the concept of creating a public art installation inspired by a map of Oakland. Commissioned by Signature Development Group (SDG), the piece would highlight uptown’s artistic and developmental boom. Annie Kantor of Modern Metal pulled in Oakland artist and illustrator Jason Kulp, who created the abstract representation of the streets of uptown.

The final design was brought to us to figure out the rest.

As we always do, we started by developing drawings to inform the fabrication process.

We selected one-quarter inch thick Naval brass plates to cut the abstract map out of. It would not be an easy project: brass is reflective, which reduces the efficiency of laser cutters. UMEC, a shop that does work for SpaceX and Tesla, was able to cut the giant plates of brass. From there we took it to General Grinding who gave it a nice brush finish.

To safely cart the brass panels around town, we made custom wooden crates. We fabricated a minimal steel frame to showcase it in the building’s windows.

Cheers to public art!

Especially gorgeous at night, it’s in the windows of the RASA building in Oakland for all to see. Stop by to check it out!