Sculpture dedicated in Gilbert Park
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Updated: Sunday, September 13, 2009 08:09
A sculpture made by an ISU alumna and world-renowned artist, Lauren Ewing, was officially dedicated Monday to the Wabash Valley Art Spaces Outdoor Sculpture Collection in a ceremony at Gilbert Park.
The sculpture is called "Composite House for Terre Haute" and represents the typical limestone houses built in Terre Haute at the end of the 1800s and turn of the 20th century.
Ewing said it is a style still prominent in Terre Haute's older neighborhoods. Mayor Kevin Burke, who joked that the extent of his art appreciation is of "dogs playing poker," said he was honored to have the sculpture dedicated to Terre Haute. "What could be a better, more gratifying sculpture than one that presents a home?" Burke said.
Art Spaces, Inc., Arts Illiana, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Wabash Valley Community Foundation were all represented by speakers at the dedication.Each group said they were pleased with the turnout at the event and happy to have the accomplished New York-based artist present her sculpture to Terre Haute.
Ewing received a Master of Fine Arts degree from ISU in 1971 and relocated to New York shortly afterwards. Despite living in New York, Ewing said she visits Indiana often to work at her studio in Vincennes.
Art enthusiasts, like Mary Cramer of Art Spaces, Inc., said they hoped to see Ewing return to Terre Haute in the future. Jokingly, Cramer said, "she's already built a house here." Ewing said she was excited to be back in Terre Haute and to discuss her influences for the Composite House.
Ewing said part of her influence, besides a deep admiration for material culture, was the work of the ISU Art Department's Professor Emeritus Robert Bastian. She said she was inspired by Bastian's extensive work on architectural typology and specifically a book he wrote on the subject of composite houses.
Ewing said her work was an important part of social memory for the community and she chose the Composite House piece because it was part of Terre Haute's social memory. "Social memory provides a wider reading of our culture," she said.
Ewing said the overall turnout for the dedication made her very pleased. "I am completely impressed with people's involvement…in this community," Ewing said.