A whimsical bench beckons to passersbys to stop and share secrets. A blue figure cruises near the University Parks Trail north of Ottawa House East and West. Metal trees sprouted east of Dowling Hall.Jim Gallucci’s “Purple Whisper Bench” north of Libbey Hall and Todd Kime’s 300-pound “Iron Man” and painted steel “Old Orchard” are three of the 10 new works installed for the ninth annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.
“My benches are publicly placed, playful objects that invite the public to sit and talk with a friend,” Gallucci, an artist in Greensboro, N.C., said. “Though the benches can function as a seat, there is an impracticality that lures people to explore what they are about.”
“From architecture to art, a passion for the creative process drives my work,” Kime, an artist in Ottawa Hills, said. “I create art for other’s enjoyment. A sense of whimsy is always prevalent in my art.”
Gallucci and Kime were among many who submitted entries for consideration to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative. The UT Campus Beautification Committee reviewed the submissions and selected the works that were installed earlier this month.“The Beautification Committee has again selected a number of engaging pieces for the UT campus community to enjoy,” said Dr. Steve LeBlanc, executive associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Engineering and chair of the Campus Beautification Committee. “The annual sculpture exhibit continues to add to the interest and appeal of UT’s beautiful campuses.”
Other pieces in this year’s exhibit:
• “Pod,” a 500-pound cement and steel work with plate mirror accents by Beau Bilenki of South Bend., Ind., rests south of the Student Union and east of Carlson Library.
• “Self Series I,” a shining figure of stainless steel created by brothers Erik and Israel Nordin of Detroit, is north of Mulford Library.• “Blue Sky Wedge,” a steel work featuring a pop of blue cast glass by Glenn Zweygardt of Alfred Station, N.Y., can be found south of Snyder Memorial Building.
• “French Curve,” a sculpture of welded stainless steel and marble by James Havens of Woodville, Ohio, is atop the hill between University and Libbey halls.
• “Doppelganger,” a 1,000-pound piece made from oiled steel by Carl Billingsley of Ayden, N.C., is located east of the Health and Human Services Building.
• “Caisson,” a welded-aluminum work by Douglas Gruizenga of Interlochen, Mich., cranks it out west of the Driscoll Alumni Center.
• “Site Transfer,” five welded and painted steel figures atop tripods by Laila Voss of Cleveland, sits on Centennial Mall west of the Health and Human Services Building.
All artists received a stipend for their sculptures, which will be on display for the next year.
Funds for the exhibition come from private donations, LeBlanc said.
“Additionally, the exhibition has resulted in a number of pieces being purchased by private individuals and donated to UT to become part of the University’s sculpture collection,” he said.
Art aficionados who like the sculptures are asked to consider a donation to the Campus Beautification Fund through the UT Foundation.