A wayward woodsman stands by the University Parks Trail and Ottawa House. Silhouetted fowl fly east near the Ottawa River behind Carlson Library. And a fantastical box sits askew on the east side of the Health and Human Performance Building.
“And Then One Day…” by Charlie Brouwer, “Greater Than” by Pam Reithmeier and “Cubed” by Richard Morgan are three of eight new works installed for The University of Toledo’s 15th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.
Brouwer’s medium of choice is black locust wood, which is available where he lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains. His work reflects human themes that are uplifting and universal.
“I like using wood because it is the most ordinary and common of all building materials, and it is friendly, warm and natural,” Brouwer said. “Since the materials and methods are so familiar, my sculptures are approachable and friendly.”
UToledo alumna Reithmeier loves the physical and mental challenges of working with steel, and she is inspired by nature.
“I love to see people interact with my sculptures,” said Reithmeier, who lives in Monclova, Ohio. “Whether it is a nod of the head, a smile, or having their picture taken with my pieces — it does not matter as long as there is a connection in some way between the sculpture and the viewer.”
Thanks to the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment, new sculptures are installed at the University each spring.
Ray Katz’s intricate aluminum piece titled “Blast 2” sits outside The University of Toledo Medical Center. Todd Kime’s fun and funky “Class of 87” is between Nitschke and Palmer halls. And Glenn Zweygardt’s bronze “Root Dancer” sprouts up northwest of Gillham Hall.
Painted blue and green steel burst from the hillside west of University Hall with Robert Garcia’s “Questions,” and Sam Soet’s carved wood work, “Ashes V,” can be found in the plaza behind Thompson Student Union by Carlson Library.
More than 30 artists submitted proposals to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, and the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment reviewed the entries and selected works for this year’s exhibit.
“We love the opportunity to view sculptures by so many artists and select a few of these creative works” said Dr. Jonathan Bossenbroek, UToledo professor and chair of environmental sciences, who is chair of the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment. “The sculptures add to the beauty of our campuses.”
The University removed this summer a sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement, that was part of the group of new art works installed on campus. The commission made the decision after a student brought forward concerns about Gandhi’s comments about Black Africans and women. A conversation was held Sept. 24 as part of the Dialogues on Diversity series about the role of art in society, the differences between art and monuments, and how to best recognize the achievements of fallible individuals.
Since the exhibition began, more than 140 sculptures have rotated through the display on UToledo campuses, and several have become part of the University’s collection courtesy of benefactors, colleges and departments.
To make a gift to support the exhibition, contact The University of Toledo Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419.530.7730.