A new sculpture called “77 Steps” is now lighting up a Fort Wayne alley and giving people another reason to visit and enjoy downtown and its public spaces.
The sculpture was designed by Kelty Tappy Design, Inc., a local architecture firm that has been in business since 1999. The design team includes Matt Kelty, Jeff Tappy, Nathan Abel, Ethan Anderson, Alejandro Flores, Sophie Vorndran and Nathan Walz.
Funding for the sculpture was provided as part of a grant from the Knight Foundation/Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne to the City of Fort Wayne and Art This Way donations. The following organizations provided volunteer labor and/or materials to assist with the installation of the sculpture: Northeast Indiana Building Trades, SMART Local 20, Dirig Sheet Metal, PreCon Projects, I.B.E.W. Local 305, Hi-Tech Electric Company, TriTech Mfg., Inc., and FWCS Career Academy Construction Trades. Project coordination was provided by DID/Art This Way and the Fort Wayne Planning and Policy Department.
The sculpture includes more than 300 hanging tubes filled with hundreds of programmable colored lights that run the full length of the 150-foot alley. It takes 77 steps to walk from one end of the alley to the other. Equity Investment and Aptera Software have agreed to support the installation on their buildings.
Kelty’s design was selected in a competitive process called Off the Wall Sculpture Challenge. A committee with representatives from local arts organizations reviewed the submissions and selected the Kelty Tappy Design submission.
The sculpture is part of the implementation of the City of Fort Wayne’s Downtown Public Realm Action Plan that is helping transforming several downtown alleys into welcoming spaces. One of those spaces is the Porch Off Calhoun, located in the parking spaces adjacent to the alley on Calhoun Street next to Pint ‘n Slice, 816 S. Calhoun St. The parking spaces were transformed into a welcoming gathering area with seating, planters, art, and lighting.
77 Steps is located in the alley between 113 and 127 West Berry Street.