Brilliance, 2014


1313 Newell Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA, , The grouping of interactive artworks is located in the plaza between the Palo Alto Art Center and Rinconada Library.

Brilliance - Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock

About the Artwork

Brilliance is a site-specific public art installation by Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock funded through the City of Palo Alto’s municipal percent for art funds. The artists created a family of six sculptures made up of text generated by members of the Palo Alto community in a variety of languages reflecting the community’s cultural diversity. The sculptures begin with a simple circle or cell and gradually become more complex. The walls of each artwork are wrapped in textural patterns cut into the surface. Text on each work addresses physical, spiritual, artistic and intellectual growth, such as ”A long journey begins with a step”, or “I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates” and many others. Each sculpture features an interior LED light that is touch-sensitive, allowing viewers to change the lighting colors and shadows on the trees and walkways at night.

About the Artists

Joe O’Connell

Artist Joe O’Connell and his studio “Creative Machines” in 1995 create site-specific artworks frequently utilizing interactive technology and lighting to engage audiences of all ages. His work has been shown in galleries and at festivals across the country including the Accel Design Conference, Spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity, Glow, Firestone Gallery, and the Joseph Gross Gallery. Throughout his career, Joe has at times collaborated with other artists and designers (including Blessing Hancock) on specific projects to co-develop concepts for artwork, melding his interests in science and perception with other perspectives.

Blessing Hancock

Blessing Hancock owns Skyrim Studio Inc which focuses on site specific sculpture. She utilizes her BFA in Sculpture and MLA in Landscape Architecture to create innovative work for public spaces. She has multiple completed monumental sculpture projects throughout the United States and Canada.

Light and due to its quality to a space is a connective thread that runs through Hancock’s work. When creating her sculptural work, the artist seeks to transform the site while encouraging viewers to actively engage and interact with the artwork.


  • Palo Alto Brilliance