Commissioned artwork

by Maureen Moses
Thursday, February 20, 2014

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) commissioned this artwork from Adam Frus (center) to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Geological Society of America (GSA). AGI Executive Director Patrick Leahy (left) and AGI Foundation Executive Director Bill Barkhouse (right) presented the piece to GSA last October. Maureen Moses

In 2013, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI, which publishes EARTH) commissioned glass artist Adam Frus to create a sculpture to celebrate the Geological Society of America’s (GSA) 125th anniversary. AGI was looking for something unique to capture the essence of geoscience to present to GSA.

Frus initially worked on designs using double-terminated “quartz” crystals because of the tactile experience of being able to pick up the crystal, hold it and read the messages etched on its faces, but in the end AGI decided on a sculpture with three single-terminated crystals set in a permanent base because this would be easier to display.

AGI wanted the crystals to be blown in the colors of the GSA logo. Frus was met with a challenge: Did a quartz variety exist with a green hue similar to the green in the GSA logo? He pored over his mineral books and websites and eventually found the naturally occurring mineral prasiolite, hued green by iron impurities. The other two “crystals” were purple, like amethyst, and a black “smoky quartz” glass crystal.

It took Frus about a month to complete the piece, which was presented to GSA’s president at a private function during the annual meeting in October.\

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