A trio of red blossoms reaches skyward between UT Medical Center and Mulford Library. Swimming silently through a sea of green leaves is a 9-foot fish south of Carlson Library near the Ottawa River. And a 300-pound dog measuring more than 5 feet tall stands guard outside Nitschke Hall.Ric Leichliter’s “Promise to Flower,” Tom Rudd’s “Whitefish” and James Oleson’s “Howl” are three of the 10 new works featured in the 10th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.
The three artists were among more than 50 who submitted proposals for consideration to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative. The UT Campus Beautification Committee reviewed the applications and chose pieces that were installed last month.
“It’s a privilege to be involved with this project and to see the creativity it sparks year after year,” said Dr. Steve LeBlanc, interim dean of the College of Engineering and chair of the Campus Beautification Committee. “I look forward each year to the arrival of the new sculptures to campus.”
Nearly 100 sculptures have rotated through the display at the University since the exhibit began, and 12 have become part of UT’s art collection thanks to the generosity of campus benefactors, colleges and departments, LeBlanc added.
New works dotting campus this year are:
• James Havens’ “Phoenix” rises atop the hill west of University Hall.• “Teal Oak Leaf Bench” offers an inviting seat on Centennial Mall between University Hall and the Student Union. The decorative, functional piece was made by Joe Krajkiewcz.
• “Ad Infinitum” by Virginia Kistler is a 500-pound work created from Extira and steel that appears to rotate while standing still north of Libbey Hall.
• Todd Kime’s “Bounce” is a bright yellow and red piece that exudes energy on Centennial Mall west of the Health and Human Services Building.
• “Mantis,” a 1,500-pound black steel insect by John W. Parker, awaits traffic along University Parks Trail north of Ottawa House West.
• “To Hope” by William Walther is a funky steel bench located in front of University Hall and west of Gillham Hall.
• “Self Series Twins” by the Nordin Brothers sits east of the Health and Human Services Building.
Artists receive stipends for their sculptures, which will be on display for the next year.
LeBlanc said the annual exhibit is made possible through gifts from donors.
“Those who enjoy the sculptures are asked to please consider a donation to the Campus Beautification Committee through the UT Foundation,” he said.