Seattle-based artist Troy Pillow’s playful sculptures – representations of and named for Greek Mythology’s nine muses enliven and ground this busy retail, restaurant and residential district in Salt Lake City. The stainless-steel sculptures, eight of which move with the wind, are mounted atop concrete pedestals sunk into planters.
The two sculptures on the northwest corner represent Polyhymnia, muse of sacred oratory, and Euterpe, muse of music. The Euterpe sculpture is a blend of geometric right angles and moving “notes,” not unlike sheet music.
On the southwest corner are Urania, muse of astronomy, a sculpture that suggests telescopes aimed at the sky, or maybe alien crop circles, and Melpomene, muse of tragedy, a lone fragile figure on a spiky, leafless tree.
The southeast corner is the only one with three sculptures: Terpsichore, muse of dance, represented by two curving lines that move in a pas de deux; Calliope, muse of poetry, which looks tall and graceful, and Clio, muse of history, suggested by a quill pen in an inkwell.
Finally, the northeast corner hosts Thalia, muse of comedy, a colorful sculpture with a playful, jester-like feel, and Erato, muse of erotic love, which sports sleek, undulating curves. All the sculptures are more abstract than literal, allowing viewers to find multiple meanings in each. (excerpts from Salt Lake Tribune)
In 2007, this hip and funky, foodie and recreational area referred to as 9th & 9th (located at the coordinates of 900 East and 900 South), was completely transformed with this streetscape upgrade through artwork, landscaping, lighting, signage and seating. The project was designed to reinforce the identity of the business district. The intersection was designed in a circular pattern using stamped street pavers for more delineation. To add more visual interest, benches and light posts are placed throughout the 2 block area to designate the district.
The project scope was to interpret the 9 daughters of Zeus & Mnemosyne.
Pillow’s work can be found in corporate collections, public art projects, select galleries and private collections throughout the country.