Wright-Ryan Installs Monumental Sculpture


SEVEN / Photo by Jim Giberson, Wright-Ryan

Portland, ME – Artist Robert Indiana’s sculpture, SEVEN (1980/2003), not only marks the physical address of the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) at 7 Congress Square, but also represents the number of subcontractors who came together under the direction of Wright-Ryan Construction to help bring this iconic installation to Portland.

Wright-Ryan was selected by the PMA to manage the construction activities required for the installation. A 36,000-pound base comprised of concrete and reinforcing steel was constructed to support the piece, which weighs 3,000 pounds.

New electrical conduit was installed to feed eight accent lights anchored in precast blocks and embedded in the surrounding sidewalk masonry to illuminate the sculpture at night.

Indiana imagined SEVEN as part of a larger series of works— numerals zero through nine — in different sizes, with 8 x 8 x 4 feet as the largest in the series. The first group was produced in brightly colored aluminum in 1980 and was eventually donated to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In the mid-1990s, Indiana re-engaged a foundry to complete his numerals series, including the large-scale weathering-steel numerals.

All work was organized under very tight time constraints to meet the museum’s deadline of unveiling the sculpture during Portland’s November First Friday Art Walk.

Wright-Ryan partnered with B.H. Milliken Electrical Contractors, RH Contracting, Rocco Leo II and his son, Nick Leo, Hammond Lumber Company, R.J. Grondin & Sons, Jon Meade Design, and A.H. Harris Construction Supplies. Many of these partners provided labor, services, materials, or equipment donated at either discounted rates or at no cost to the PMA, with Wright-Ryan providing generous support through the donation of labor and construction management services as well.