Shreveport’s beloved new landmark, Iris, was designed and brought to life by Susanna Van Norman and artist Bruce Allen, of Bruce Allen Art and Design.
If you’re driving down Line Avenue on any given day this sight will certainly leave an impression, as the enormous ocular organ stands nearly 8 feet across! She was welcomed to her home at Shreveport Eye Specialists on February 19, 2019 and quickly became the talk of the town.
Dr. Van Norman had a vision when he broke ground on the beautiful, state of the art building. The vision was to give the patients an amazing experience, one which goes beyond great eye care. He wanted a place people would feel comfortable, at ease, even in wonder as they admire the architecture, and of course gawk at Iris in the courtyard.
In true team spirit, Susanna’s own eye serves as the model for Iris, and a fundus camera was used to capture an image of her own iris. Here are a few interesting facts about Iris and her journey:
- It took a total of 200 hours to build
- She is 94” in diameter and weighs 400 pounds. The ball is made of fiberglass.
- Bruce drove to Ohio with a flatbed to pick up the two halves of the sphere that would later become Iris. The company that provided the sphere usually manufactures them for corporations who order large globes, and had never done an eyeball.
- There is a metal post that supports and lifts her off the ground.
- Inside of Iris is a large wooden structure. Once glued together, Bruce used polyester resin paint (aka car paint!) to cover Iris in white (or the sclera portion of the eye.)
- A fundus camera was used to photograph Susanna’s eye and her iris served as the model for Iris’ color pattern.
- Bruce then used spray paint and airbrushed acrylic paint to create the Iris.
We hope you have a chance to say hi to Iris one day soon, as she regularly has visitors posing for pictures and admiring the beautiful, artistic detail of Shreveport’s most famous eyeball!