Notice anything different on Red Mountain Expressway today? How about a gigantic pair of glasses?
Throughout the past couple days, crews have mounted the glasses on a billboard, based on a new sculpture at Red Mountain Park. The project is the brainchild of optometrist Dr. Jack Schaeffer of Schaeffer Eye Center – with some Big design magic.
“Whether it’s supporting the arts or health screening, Jack has always been such an advocate for our community,” said Aaron Gresham, Big Creative Director. “He wanted to do something to draw attention to Red Mountain Park.”
Working with local artists of MESH Collective Art, Schaeffer commissioned a piece of public sculpture. Big designed the billboard, with initial blueprints by Big’s own Chief Creative Officer Ford Wiles.
The glasses are theoretically big enough to fit Birmingham’s beloved Vulcan. Plus it’s an homage to one of Birmingham’s most iconic outdoor boards. “In the early 2000s, Schaeffer had that great 3-D outdoor board in the same spot,” Gresham said. “It featured eye glasses filled with trash collected from the Cahaba, and drew attention to cleanup efforts on the river.”
With a nod to Birmingham’s natural beauty, this board encourages people to go to Red Mountain Park. There, in addition to hiking and zip lining, visitors can now see Schaeffer Eye Center’s art project, dubbed “The Schaeffer Spectacles,” which was unveiled May 6.
“This project has really been about bringing people together to better Birmingham,” said Jack Schaeffer. “Red Mountain Park is one of Birmingham’s greatest assets and Schaeffer Eye Center wanted to help support the mission of unifying communities through health and history.”
In the near future, Schaeffer Eye Center will work with Vulcan Park & Museum to host an essay contest. Students will be tasked with creating a story about how Vulcan lost his safety glasses on a trip to Red Mountain Park. (I guess it’s easy to be clumsy when you’re that big, right?)