Kana Tanaka, 2013



Inspired by the Spokane River and the building's architecture, Cascade is comprised of thousands of hand-formed glass water drops that flow through the entire north side of the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building, symbolically linking with the actual water that moves through the healing garden at the building's
west end.

Scattered throughout the suspended sculpture are occasional pieces of colorful dichroic glass, representing leaves or petals picked up by the flow, or glints of sunlight. At its highest point on the fourth floor, the surface of the glass beads has a crackled texture, representing icy water. As the sculpture streams downward, the glass gradually contains more and more bubbles, moving from clear spring water to white, churning water.

The suspended glass sculpture was created by artist Kana Tanaka, who was born and raised in Aichi, Japan, and is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As an arts & crafts major at the National Aichi University of Education in Japan, she became captivated by the qualities of molten glass, leading her to specialize
in glassblowing.

Tanaka’s body of work is characterized by a reverence for light phenomena. She creates site-specific installation works involving viewers in rich, multi-dimensional experiences that surround them and directly and broadly affect their senses. She has exhibited her work at galleries and theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2002. In recent years, she has also completed large-scale permanent public art installations in Fairfield, Lafayette, and Alameda, California, as well as in Scottsdale, Arizona, and New Britain, Connecticut.