Alaska Robotics

The Whale has Landed

Sunday, February 5th 2012 by Pat

So this is exciting… Take a few steps past the security exit in the departure lounge at the Juneau International Airport and there’s a hidden alcove with a giant whale plane hanging on the wall.

I’m really pleased with the results and had a great time creating and installing the piece.

Here’s a better picture of the alcove with an early version of the whale Photoshopped onto the wall.

We couldn’t print on a single aluminum panel at that size so Jeannie (she’s really great) came up with the idea to do overlapping panels.

The design went through a lot of variations.

We struck on a design we all liked and I started inking and coloring the eleven foot image.

I tried for detailed simplicity, something that could be appreciated from a distance but wasn’t going to turn into fat pixels or hard vector lines up close.

We purchased the panels without any backing and had to figure out how to mount it on the wall. It was printed on aluminum by Bay Photo, they did a great job and at a reasonable price.

The aluminum prints don’t take adhesive very well but they’re light weight and look great. We tested out JB Weld and it adhered fairly well with some coarse sanding but in the end we decided to go with straight silicon.

Once we got the mounting boards into the wall studs we thought we should just leave the wall like this, it looks more like art than my art.

The panels overlap a bit so we had to mount them at different depths.

Who let this guy near the power tools?

This is me and Greg after we got the panels all squared up. Greg is the retired maintenance man who they keep around because he knows everything about the building. He was great to work with, easy going and very capable. I think he could have done this installation all himself but he was polite enough to let me feel like I was helping.

This is Jeannie, she came up with the paneling idea and kept pushing me to make the illustration better. We were both thrilled to see it up on the wall.

Well, that’s that. Go check it out next time you fly though Juneau and I’ll have some prints available in a month or so if anyone is interested.

3 Responses to “The Whale has Landed”

  1. Katrina says:

    Yay Pat!

  2. Bethany says:

    This is so great! Congratulations Pat! I don’t see a signature on it or anything recognizing you as the artist. Is that coming?

  3. Jeannie says:

    Great timeline, Pat! I can’t wait to see your next project.