New Sculpture Symbolizes Student Performance
A new campus sculpture that symbolizes the creative energy and interactions encompassing both athletics and the performing arts has risen at Alma College near the entrance to the Art Smith Arena.
Alma College commissioned Ken Thompson, an accomplished sculptor with major works in Detroit, Toledo, Big Rapids and Washington, D.C., to create and install the piece in conjunction with the opening of the new Hogan Center addition.
“Mr. Thompson has beautifully captured the symbolism of student engagement and creativity that takes place at Alma College,” says Art and Design Professor Carrie Parks-Kirby, who was a member of a campus committee that selected the artist and sculpture themes.
The new sculpture near the Hogan Center entrance.
The sculpture of polished bright aluminum stands 12 feet high. One side of the sculpture stands vertically, while another side loops like an arch. The arch sits on a flat 12-foot diameter circle made of granite, bronze and aluminum.
Within the flat circle around the outer edge are a series of images designed and created by Alma students. These relief images — about 30 in all — depict activities associated with both athletics and the performing arts. Students in the art department's "Tools and Materials" class created the relief panels, while another group of students built the graphic elements for the base.
The sculpture includes images created by students.
“People are able to walk around the sculpture and through it, symbolically passing under the arch,” says Parks-Kirby. “Some have described this sculpture as representing a kind of ‘portal’ that ushers entering students into a new world of higher education, opportunity and success.
“Others may see it as a symbol of growth, reflecting activities that engage students in the life of the campus,” says Parks-Kirby. “For alumni, the sculpture may reflect activities they were part of when they were students at Alma.”
Alma College Trustee Glen Granger ‘83 and his wife, Sherry, donated the funds for the campus sculpture in honor of former president Saundra Tracy, who retired in June.
Posted: Tue, August 17th, 2010 at 7:59AM