Meet Virga, The Noorda's new sculpture

via GIPHY

Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormack are partners in life and creativity. They are artists and professional creatives, though Figg says that on their bad days they can be described simply as “mess makers.” They are also the team behind the stunning new sculpture that hangs above the OC Tanner Atrium in the brand-new Noorda Center for the Performing Arts. “We tell people we’re going to park a cloud of glass inside the atrium of the building,” McCormack says with a laugh.

Titled “Virga,” the light of the cloud responds to the day’s weather, with a different color palette every single night. “In meteorology, a virga is an observable streak or shaft of precipitation falling from a cloud that evaporates or sublimates before reaching the ground.” (Wikipedia)

Initially, they figured on about 900 pieces of glass, which they blow themselves. However, as they started working and building the complex structure comprising of many small parts, they realized they would need nearly double that.

1800 pieces of glass

3600 pins

3600 wires

7000 wire twists

1700 3D printed plastic seismic bracers 

The couple says that no matter how much preparation they put into it, being in the space made them realize how much work it would be and just how many hands would be required to put it together. With help from a UVU alumna and a current UVU student, as well as others on the team, they were able to hang the entire thing by the first day of spring semester. “We were super impressed by the UVU students,” Cormack says fondly, and Figg finishes the thought for him by saying: “It’s unbelievable - their work ethic has blown us away.”