New outdoor sculptures spring up on campuses

May 22, 2009 | Arts
By Megan Lewis

"Darters" by Tom Rudd

"Darters" by Tom Rudd

Flowers are not the only things blooming on UT’s campuses. New outdoor sculptures have been installed for the fourth annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

There are seven new pieces, while five perennial favorites from previous exhibits have been retained.

Artists submitted entries to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative. The entries then were presented to the UT Campus Beatification Committee, which chose the pieces that would be featured on campuses.

Dr. Steven LeBlanc, associate dean in the College of Engineering and chair of the Campus Beautification Committee, said, “Anonymous donors have provided funds for us to purchase several of the sculptures so that they can stay at UT.”

"Life: Twist and Turns Series 7" by Michael Barker

"Life: Twist and Turns Series 7" by Michael Barker

These pieces include John Suave’s “Drang” near the Center for Performing Arts, Kirk Roda’s “The Gardener” on the edge of Centennial Mall behind University Hall, Shawn Phillip Morin’s “Peace Portal” located in front of Stranahan Hall, and Robert Garcia’s “Windswept” on Centennial Mall in front of the Student Union.

Leblanc also said College of Law faculty and staff liked Robert Huff’s “Korekuta” located by the Law Center so much that they decided to purchase it.

As in previous years, the Campus Beautification Committee used digital photography to determine which places around campus would best suit the new sculptures.

“Monument to the Living” by Tom Lingeman, UT professor of art and member of the Campus Beautification Committee, is placed between University and Libbey halls. Lingeman said the sculpture was inspired by American rural cemetery gravestones.

Placed in the middle of Centennial Mall is “Balancing Act” by Calvin Babich, as well as “Darters” by Tom Rudd.

“Balancing Act” features 48 rocks in five stacks on top of one big rock. Babich said he wanted to take what he thought was an unrealistic idea and make it a reality with this sculpture.

"Standing Thinker" by James Havens

"Standing Thinker" by James Havens

Rudd said the “Darters” sculpture is a figurative artwork that intensifies small things in nature. “The darter minnow rarely reaches 4 inches in length. The limestone sculpture shows the fish at 4 feet long,” he said.

“Bird of Paradise” by Judith Greavu is located outside Rocket Hall. According to Greavu, this sculpture is an organic form that emphasizes energy and power.

Doug Gruizenga’s “Richard Says It’s Mayan” is located on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building. Gruizenga said his sculptures are based on real objects that he feels are visually stimulating. “It is my hope that my sculpture will be pleasing to the eye without limiting the viewer’s creative ability to interpret the subject.”

Toni Lucadello’s “Dimension” is located between Nitschke and Palmer halls. According to Lucadello, most of her creations are based on scientific themes. This piece refers to the world of physics in which many undiscovered layers make up reality, she said.

Also on Main Campus is the stainless steel figure “Standing Thinker” by James Havens. This work is placed on Centennial Mall between the Student Union and Snyder Memorial Building.

In addition, on the Health Science Campus, “Life: Twist and Turns Series 7” by Michael Barker can be seen outside the Skyview Food Court.

All artists received a $250 stipend for their artwork, which will remain in their current locations for the next year. This exhibit is funded by the Campus Beautification Committee.

Click to access the login or register cheese