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Marcia Stuermer



view from below:

Migration, Struemer. Concept designs.

Artist's rendering:

Migration, Struemer. Concept design.


Migration, by Marcia Stuermer, is a backlit ceiling installation measuring 16’ x 52’ intended to be an evocative, archetypal depiction of the timeless notion of travel. Stuermer chose to use the imagery of sandhill cranes inspired by the fact that the Sacramento Central Valley is located in the middle of the Pacific Flyway zone where these migratory birds have traveled their twice yearly route between Alaska and Pantagonia for centuries.

The ceiling inset is composed of 26 translucent acrylic panels in a watery blue-green simultaneously simulating sky and water that are backlit via a programmed, energy-efficient LED system and installed as a single visual field flush with and within the maple veneer perimeter of the existing acoustic ceiling panels in International Arrivals area. Stuermer digitally composed and manipulated the foreground imagery of a flock of sandhill cranes in flight, which are laser printed and then fused onto the panels. The flock is visually oriented to be traveling away from the baggage claim area, providing a subliminal way-finding mechanism to the weary traveler as well as echoing the intended flow pattern within the airport space. This ‘flow’ will be subtly enhanced by the programming of the LED lighting that will simulate movement of the dreamlike water background from one end of the installation to the other.

With no two images alike, each crane image is a high-contrast, digitally created photographic composite of both the crane’s body and skeleton in flight that playfully and conceptually mimics the x-ray scanning of baggage as well as depicting the subtle discovery of underlying layers of information, meaning and structure in our world.


Migration, Struemer. Installation.

Marcia Stuermer and her crew spent two days on site testing every aspect of Migration. Working with a lighting designer, they experimented with the color and movement of the LED lights that backlight the artwork. The test gave Marcia the opportunity to see the scale of the imagery in relationship to the site and details such as trim color. Based on their experiments and subsequent discoveries, Stuermer made changes to the final artwork before installing it in July.


Migration, Struemer. Completed artwork.

Migration, Struemer. Completed artwork.


Marcia Stuermer is the principal of and creative force behind her company Fossil Faux Studios, an innovative San Francisco art studio and production company that uses resin and unexpected materials to create powerful visual and conceptual statements for a wide variety of public art and architectural installations. Her work has been commissioned world-wide for public and private venues—including Yankee Stadium, The Cleveland Food Bank, and The King County Library System in Seattle. Her work has been featured in Wired Magazine, Architectural Record, and SF Chronicle Magazine. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from The Kansas City Art Institute. 


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