Roots of Knowledge wins this year’s CODA’s People’s Choice award

Photo by Lilly Van Buren

Roots of Knowledge was named one of two winners of the People’s Choice award Aug. 31 after CODAawards considered 100 different entries

Tom Holdman, owner of Holdman Studios and creator of the stain glass windows first approached President Holland with this idea 12 years ago. What started out as a small scale vision from Holdman studios became a stain glass masterpiece comprising of 80 windows and over 43,000  pieces of cut, hand-painted, carved, fused, and blown glass, measuring 10′ by 200′ and costing roughly 3.5 million dollars.

“The 12 year journey was a long one, from the origins of the idea and as it gained momentum to enlist the help of many hands,” said Holdman. “When you climb a tall mountain the steps seem endless and before you know it you’re appreciating the view.”

The CODAawards evaluates projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces and celebrate teams and individuals who create a space that will inspire. Entries are reviewed by the jury based on three categories; integration of commissioned artwork into site-specific project, strength of the collaborative process among the creative teams, commissioners, and industry resources, and each winning entry’s ability to blend the art and design seamlessly to create a place as art, rather than a place with art.

The Roots of Knowledge showcases the strength of collaboration, including 25 faculty members, 40 artists, and 350 students. “It is a really good example of the inclusivity of UVU,” Nick Lawyer, junior art student and an artist of the Roots of Knowledge said. “It shows an unbiased account and something from every culture, not just the more prominent religions, we didn’t want it to be too american or eurocentric. You can find something from almost everywhere.”

“The goal was to inspire others that the individual could make a difference and not be a number in the masses,” Holdman said. “To display in imagery that as a human race working together, for the betterment of those who will come after us, we can create wonders. The seeds of dreams form the branches of the future.”

“The opportunity to be selected from a distinguished group, fellow peers, and students is fantastic,” Holdman said.  “Monumental art was selected from literally all over the world and it was a challenge.”

Holman is grateful for the people’s choice award, it is evidence that it is achieving its purpose, which is to inspire humanity.

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