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Biochemistry Art Installation Wins National Honor

“Biotechnology Waltz” seems to have “floored” judges of the 1998 National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association Honor Award.

The award cites the Rockford Tile and Terrazzo Company, whose employees installed the terrazzo-style floor in the lobby of the new Biochemistry Building on campus.

Seattle artist Norie Sato designed the floor, which was dedicated with the building in October. Wisconsin”s Percent for Art program convened a committee that chose Sato”s design, a depiction of protein ribbon diagrams, simplified DNA, molecular structure, Vitamin D and other imagery from the field of biochemistry.

During the summer of 1997, Sato visited the campus and gave biochemistry faculty and staff a chance to have a hand in creating motifs for the new floor. Participants bent inlay strips into relevant images, which were then “dropped in” throughout the floor.

According to Alan Attie, UW-Madison professor of biochemistry and a member of the committee that selected “Biochemistry Waltz,” everyone connected with the project is delighted with it. “It sets a new tone for the working environment of this building. We are now surrounded by beauty,” he says.