UVU Roots of Knowledge wins CODAawards People’s Choice Award


Before settling in its permanent home at UVU’s Fulton Library, a few panels from the Roots of Knowledge exhibit traveled to Manhatten in New York City as well as to Oxford University in London. (Photo courtesy of UVU)

The Roots of Knowledge won one of the 2017 CODAawards People’s Choice Award, Utah Valley University announced on Thursday.

Of the 44 entries, Roots of Knowledge was one of two winners of the 5th annual CODAawards People’s Choice Award, which is distributed by CODAworx. The other winner, “Radiance,” is located at the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs in El Paso, Texas.

“Roots of Knowledge is an extraordinary work of art that underscores UVU’s commitment to the very finest elements of the human search for knowledge,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland in a press release. “That it has been recognized by the public and the esteemed team at CODAworx speaks to its outstanding ability to educate and inspire.”

A jury of thought leaders in design, architecture and art world review the top 100 design projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural or public spaces. The jurors evaluate the projects on three unique criteria across 10 categories: the integration of commissioned artwork into site-specific projects completed since January 2014; the strength of the collaborative process among the creative teams, commissioners and industry resources; and whether the work blends the art and design seamlessly to create a place as art, rather than a place with art.   

In November 2016, UVU unveiled Roots of Knowledge at Fulton Library, a permanent exhibit for the library. The 80-pane stained glass exhibit explores mankind’s quest for knowledge through history. A 12-year project, it took 40 artists, 25 faculty and 350 UVU students to complete. It all started with stained glass artist Tom Holdman’s vision.

Tom Holdman came up with the idea for the Roots of Knowledge 12 years before it finally settled in at Fulton Library. Holdman was on the cover of Utah Valley Magazine in November 2016. (Photo by Dave Blackhurst/Utah Valley Magazine)

“When I first got the idea for this concept, I was scared to death,” Holdman said in an interview with Utah Valley Magazine in November 2016. “Can we really do this and give it the justice it deserves and pay homage to the world’s acquisition of knowledge?”

Holdman wanted to keep the Roots of Knowledge as accurate as possible, so UVU faculty reviewed panel designs to help capture the authenticity of the different cultures and historical events.

“As I’ve researched aspects of history through the centuries, I’ve come to fully believe that no matter who you are or where you came from, everyone will have a moment of genius — the real test is what you do with it,” Holdman said.

Besides stained glass, the exhibit — which stands 10-30 feet in height and 200 feet in length — includes artifacts embedded in the glass including ancient coins, fossils, computer chips and a piece of the Berlin Wall.   

Other CODAawards categories included commercial, education, healthcare, hospitality, institutional, landscape, liturgical, public spaces, residential and transportation.

See all the 2017 CODAawards winners here.

Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *