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October 16, 2013

Artwork serves to beautify campus, engage community

art on campus map
download this map of artworks on campus

After a national call for proposals, a jury of faculty, administrators, students, and guest juror Rochelle Steiner, a profesor at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts, is in the process of selecting a permanent outdoor art installation piece for the northern gateway to the River Campus.

The work will reflect the University’s mission to “Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—And Make the World Ever Better” and serve as a focal point for the intersection of several walkways adjacent to Sage Art Center and the newly created outdoor gathering space in Jackson Court.

“We’re looking for a piece that will engage with the population walking in the area,” says Allen Topolski, associate professor of art. “We want a piece that’s engaging and bound to its environment.”

Images of all six proposals and more about each artist’s vision are displayed online at jackson-court. Viewers are encouraged to “like” one or more of their top choices.

The selection committee will incorporate the public’s response into their final evaluation and will make a recommendation to the campus art committee.

The chosen artist will receive up to $60,000 for fabrication and delivery of the final piece.

The artwork is the final step in the completion of Jackson Court and O’Brien Hall, the University’s newest residential housing.

“Locating permanent outdoor artwork at the northern entrance to River Campus will be an ongoing reminder of the importance of the arts at the University and in the city of Rochester overall,” says guest juror Steiner.

The new work, planned for installation by Meliora Weekend 2014, joins several other public art pieces on the University’s campuses. A handful of those works are noted on the map.

A new campus art committee formed last year with the goal of “integrating art and craft on campus” says committee member Jose Fernandez, executive director of campus planning, design, and construction management. The committee members’ plan is to utilize one-half of one percent of project costs for future construction for the addition of art in and around the building.

In addition to providing support for the Jackson Court gateway project, a small part of the budget for the construction of O’Brien Hall included adding student photographs to common areas inside the new residence hall. Genesee Ripples, a sculpture by Arch Miller, professor emeritus of art and art history, was also commissioned by the committee for Anderson Hall.

The committee has also brought two pieces that were previously exhibited at the Memorial Art Gallery to the LeChase Courtyard. Duayne Hatchett’s Go and Larry Mohr’s Ell II have been installed in the courtyard created by LeChase, Rettner, Morey, and Lattimore halls.

“It’s important for art to be part of everyone’s everyday,” says Topolski, a member of the campus art committee. “Art makes you think about the space around you and it makes you more responsible about the space.”

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