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Century unveils ‘Water Symphony’ at FGCU

By Staff | Jan 13, 2011

Island artist Luc Century.

At the end of the month, Florida Gulf Coast University will celebrate the grand opening of the latest addition to the FGCU campus, the Bower School of Music.

“Along with education, the University is charged with the development of cultural richness in our region, and the Bower School of Music really helps us accomplish those charges,” said Senior Director of Advancement for FGCU Judie Cassidy. “We’re not only providing instruction to talented musicians, but also providing optimum music experiences to the general public.”

And when FGCU needed an artist to design a mural befitting the new space, they approached island artist Luc Century.

The result is “Water Symphony,” Century’s fourth commissioned project at FGCU since 2002 and, he said, the largest piece he’s ever done.

“Since Bower is a musical building, my mind went to abstract lyrical movement, and it brought me back to the days when I was creating marbling designs for the cupola at the Shell Museum. Looking back through my work from those days, I found a pattern that I thought would be appropriate. My original was no larger than 10 inches, so I had to enlarge it to 10 feet by 30 feet,” Century said. “I wanted to maintain a classic black and white look because I wanted the graphic to portray the movement. I didn’t want to confuse it with color. It’s a very classic look, and I’ve always felt that keeping the color simple and allowing the lines to conduct the flow works magnificently for a theatrical setting,”

Century works on the donor wall in the Bower building.

It took Century six months to etch and airbrush his design onto the 75 porcelain tiles (each 2 by 2 feet) that now make up the mural that hangs over the entry to the Bower recital hall. Century also noted that islander Randy Deis was essential in assisting Century in the installation.

“Luc is an amazing talent and we’ve contacted him several times to design donor walls here at the University. It was particularly important for us to work with him for the Bower School of Music because he always gives us a work of art and we wanted his work to transform the building into a cultural center,” said Senior Director of Advancement for FGCU Judie Cassidy. “What Luc created is stunning. When you look at it, you see the intricate patterns of sand shoals and the graceful beauty of the Florida waterways, but it also speaks to melodic harmony with all these complex yet fluid structures. It’s so majestic.”

“The mural gives a breath of graphic movement upon entering the building, and it allows the viewer into an expansiveness that works within the architecture of the building. It draws you in and creates almost a kaleidoscope effect of a musical movement — no pun intended,” Century said. “It has a simplicity to it, yet it’s intrinsically complicated, and all parts — like an orchestra — need to work together to make it whole.”

To celebrate the grand opening of the Bower School of Music and the FGCU donors who made it — and Century’s mural — all possible, a special “Kaleidoscope Concert” will be held on Monday, Jan. 31.

For more information, go to www.FGCU.org‘>www.FGCU.org.

Century installs “Water Symphony.”

An architect’s rendering of the Bower School of Music, featuring Century’s mural.