Circus of the Spheres


ArtistGeorge Rhoads
MediaSteel, Plastic, Rubber, Wood, Copper, Bronze, Carpet, & Plexiglas
Dimensions88" x 80" x 58"
LocationUniversity Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital

This is a kinetic sculpture with balls set in motion by an electric motor and a chain lift. The balls play percussion instruments as they roll down the track, and are randomly directed down alternate paths by swinging pendulums.


The interior of the sculpture was covered with dust and grime picked up by the balls and then dispersed as they rolled along. The fasteners holding the Plexiglas windows in place had rusted and the rust was spreading out between the steel frame and the window, creating unsightly stains. The metal-framed case was dirty, rusty and had chipped paint. There was frayed carpet on the lower portion of the case. The interior of the sculpture was vacuumed and then surface cleaned. The chain drive mechanism was disassembled, degreased, lubricated and reassembled. The frame was re-painted in the original light blue/green color. Worn and broken elements were replaced or repaired by welding. Carpeted plywood panels on the lower exterior of the case were replaced with new birch veneer plywood. The interior lower deck was replaced and carpeted. The color changes of the birch veneer plywood and the grey carpet were approved by the artist in writing. The tubular chimes were cleaned and lacquered to prevent further tarnish.

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