The history of maritime navigation and its central importance to the mission of the U.S. Coast Guard inspired artist Teresita Fernández to create Nocturnal (Navigation), a wall-mounted sculpture that she patterned after a navigational star chart. Comprising 300 constellation points that resemble crystallized minerals, the sculpture’s size and reflective surfaces take advantage of the soaring space and abundant natural light of the main entrance of the Coast Guard headquarters building. The sculpture appears subtly different throughout the day in response to the ever-changing light that filters into the lobby.
Fernández is well known for creating artworks that engage the surrounding architecture and highlight the optical effects of light and color. She uses contemporary materials to explore facets of the natural world that everyone can appreciate, such as stars, the sky, cloud formations, the ocean, sand dunes and waterfalls. Fernández said that she created Nocturnal (Navigation) “to convey a poetic aspect of the Coast Guard, by referencing the vastness of the sea and the heroic, epic qualities of celestial navigation.” Her site-specific sculpture addresses the idea of the night sky as a surface that people have always looked to for orientation and information, as well as the Coast Guard principle that “mission excellence is our North Star.”
Commissioned through the Art in Architecture Program
Fine Arts Collection
U.S. General Services Administration