"Architecture, sculpture, painting, music and poetry may truly be called the efflorescence of civilized life."
Taking the words of Herbert Spencer to heart 140 years after they were put to paper ("Essays on Education"), the university decided that architecture that makes a statement needs to be complemented by sculpture that makes a statement. Consequently, UC is hosting a pretty nice dialogue right now.
There is a Magdalena Abakanowicz at CCM, a Joel Shapiro on University Commons and a Kenneth Snelson waiting for exhibit space to open up in the plaza above Zimmer Hall. The Master Plan architectural program is expanding the University of Cincinnati's Fine Arts Collection with important works of contemporary sculpture like these.
Through Ohio's One-Percent-For-Art Fund, UC has recently purchased or commissioned several sculptural works that complement new campus buildings and open space projects. The fund takes its name from the amount of money Ohio reserves for a new piece of artwork for a state building: one percent of the cost of its construction.
Each new sculpture choice is the result of a careful selection process, explains Anne Timpano, director of the DAAP Galleries and administrator of the university's Fine Arts Collection. "Usually the architects have a list of the nature or kinds of work that would be compatible with each building or open space," Timpano explains. "Artists are invited to submit images of their work, and our committee tries to identify those who meet the criteria."
In addition to the artists named, UC's growing sculpture collection includes works by Terry Allen (Vontz Center), James Carpenter and Sam Gilliam (CCM), Tim Prentice (Cardio Research Center), George Rickey (University Commons) and Nam June Paik (DAAP).
Timpano also is charged with the care of campus sculptures after they are installed. Last fall she brought in a professional conservator to clean the Fine Arts Collection's outdoor pieces, especially those that had not been treated for several years. An annual service schedule of maintenance is now in place.
Photo/courtesy UC Fine Arts Collection
These artists and their work in the UC Fine Arts Collection are described in the special issue Rebirth of the Campus of Horizons Online March 2000:
Kenneth Snelson's Web site