‘The Jack, Will and Rob Center grew into a place that was like a three-chambered heart, each chamber being an artistic area for a child: visual arts, computer arts and a music-theater area.’
Geri Pope-Bidwell, founder
The Jack, Will and Rob Center was inspired by the lives of three brothers who perished tragically in an airplane crash on Thanksgiving Day, 1999. Each installation is designed as a moment of discovery, relative to its context, always returning to a theme of creative inspiration and renewal.

  • Donor Recognition
    Rather than a plaque added to the structure after the fact of construction, this donor wall is an expression of community generosity being inseparable from the institution’s existence. Four thousand names are printed directly onto and into the stained concrete wall.
    Children’s Gallery Entry

  • A poem by Rumi greets and inspires kids entering the art gallery. Rather than placing the text at sixty inches from the floor as is the norm, the poem is placed at forty inches in order to be more easily seen by those this center seeks to nurture.

  • The Mickey Mantle Koan. An excerpt from River Teeth by David James Duncan is a meditation on the meaning of heroes. It recounts the loss of his only brother to illness when they were teenagers. At their mother’s request, Mickey Mantle autographed a baseball and mailed it to their home. It arrived the day after his brother passed away. David donated the autographed ball, his brother’s mitt, their practice ball and the use of the story. Each page is letter-pressed onto mitt leather, and left exposed. Over time – with ambient light and constant touching by passersby – the leather pages have aged just like your old mitt.

  • Georgia O’Keefe
    A quotation about the expressive power of color for the art room was installed as an engraved pane of colored glass.

  • Three Heart Valves
    There are three primary activity rooms – art, music and computer sciences – each reflecting one of the boys’ passions. We were asked to find a way to discreetly include a picture of each boy playing with one of the three surviving sisters.
    The glazing on each door is designed such that each image appears and disappears depending on the light and position of the door relative to the viewer. The images are ephemeral as memories. Many people visit the center several times before they are struck with the recognition.

  • Center Court
    Ray Hickey was a local, self-made businessman. He became a major donor to the Jack, Will and Rob Center when he funded the gymnasium. He was famous for the quote pictured above. It is placed at center court to be seen up close at every tip-off.