ISU campus is a ‘chorus’ of artwork
Published: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Updated: Sunday, January 13, 2013 23:01
With around 25 outdoor works of art, Indiana State University has a memorable cultural flair to its campus. Most of these sculptures are student projects, but several are special commissioned works from artists all over the country, according to Barbara Räcker, the University Curator.
These pieces reflect the impact of ISU on the community, as well as the traditions and symbols of this 148-year-old institution.
With the help of Art Spaces, a not-for-profit that brings outdoor artwork to Terre Haute, ISU has collected a menagerie of works—from the “Runner” outside of the recreation center to the last year’s edition, “A Chorus of Trumpets,” in Rankin Plaza. Artist Howard Kalish, from Brooklyn, N.Y., created the yellows, purples and blues illuminated in the 10-foot by 9-foot sphere of trumpets for $60,000, according to the Indiana Economic Digest.
“Some building projects allocate a percentage of the budget to acquire art pieces,” said Diann McKee, vice president for business affairs, finance and university treasurer. “Some are funded by donors, such as ‘Under the Buttonwood’ on the Federal Hall facade, and others are paid for with discretionary dollars.”
Some pieces cost as little as $1,000 and others more than $60,000, said Paul Reed, manager of custodial and special services in ISU’s office of facility management.
He further explained that the cost depends “on the size of the piece, the fame of the artist and, of course, the materials required to produce the piece.”
Art Spaces has helped the university acquire most of these prominent works, not only the “Runner,” by Douglas Kornfeld, and “A Chorus of Trumpets”, but also “Emanating Connections” by Chakaia Booker and the “ISU Sphere,” by Brandon Zebold.
“ISU’s campus is beautiful,” said Mary Kramer, executive director of Art Spaces. “The outdoor sculptures really add to its interest. They encourage people to think differently about art and provide exposure to a wide variety of styles.”
Booker’s piece, “Emanating Connections,” is an example of these differing styles. This sculpture, near the ISU Theatre, “is made totally from what many might see as a discardable material—old tires,” Reed said.
Reed added that, “Funds [for Booker’s sculpture] were received from the sale of waste products donated by the community, such as aluminum cans, paper, plastics and glass.”
In fact, another commissioned piece is in the works to celebrate the ISU Recycling Center’s 25th anniversary in 2014. This sculpture, by Steven Seigal, will commemorate the occasion, as well as honor ISU’s commitment to art and sustainability.
“I think it’s great that ISU appreciates art and wants to display it on campus,” Kramer said. “Each one has character and changes the way people feel. They prompt curiosity and encourage questions.”
Many of these pieces would not have been possible without the coordination of Kramer and Art Spaces. “They have been a great partner for the university,” McKee said. “The community is very fortunate to have this organization.”
From steel to granite and even old tires, these outdoor sculptures are as diverse in materials as they are in style.
“They create an open door to the imagination. And I think that imagination is essential to education,” Kramer said.
For more information on the University Art Gallery, visit www.indstate.edu/artgallery/index.htm. To learn more about Art Spaces, explore their website at http://wabashvalleyartspaces.com.