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Campus News

Winning Sculpture Ideas to Grace Lecture Center

by Greta Petry (December 10, 2004)

Graduate art students Scott Ball and John Keefe are the winners of a sculpture competition in Professor of Art Edward Mayer’s Topics in Sculpture class. When completed in December 2005, their works will grace the University at Albany’s Lecture Center area.

Left, John Keefe, and at right, Scott Ball, present their sculpture designs. Their winning entries will be fabricated over the next year, and installed in the Lecture Center area. Left, John Keefe, and at right, Scott Ball, present their sculpture designs. Their winning entries will be fabricated over the next year, and installed in the Lecture Center area.

Left, John Keefe, and at right, Scott Ball, present their sculpture designs. Their winning entries will be fabricated over the next year, and installed in the Lecture Center area.

The two have each won two semesters’ tuition, a stipend, and up to $1,500 to purchase materials.

Ball, 28, is a second-year sculptor from Seattle. Keefe is a 32 year-old Rhode Island native.

The students’ work responds to the concrete architecture of the Lecture Center, and will help the campus community see Edward Durrell Stone’s architecture in a new way.

Mayer said, “There were eight projects that were submitted and juried, and each one reflected significant thought and inventiveness.”

Interim President John R. Ryan, Vice President for Finance Kathy Lowery, Professors Roberta Bernstein, Art Department Chair JoAnne Carson, and Mayer, University Art Museum Director Janet Riker, Museum Collections Manager Wren Panzella, Christine Bou-chard, Steve Beditz, and Errol Millington selected the winners from the proposals submitted by M.F.A. sculpture candidates for ideas pertaining to specific Lecture Center sites.

The works will be fabricated and installed over the course of the next year. The projects are the third and fourth permanent sculptures developed by M.F.A. sculpture students, and commissioned by the University in order to enhance the environment in specific locations around campus. The first two, completed this summer by Chris Cassidy and Chris Oliver, are in the lounge area of Empire Commons. More competitions and projects are planned for the future.

Students were expected to create a model of their project, present it to the panel, and articulate its selling points.

Keefe said, “The piece I designed for the Lecture Center concourse area, below the Performing Arts Center, is a steel piece composed of linear and planar abstractions inspired by the architecture.” Curved planar pieces will be anchored above the columns, and line will extend from these points. The effect is that of steel tendrils descending from the ceiling.

“My intent was to animate this area and the ceiling over the heads of passers-by,” Keefe said.

Ball created a table, chair, and sofa from concrete. Half of the work sits inside the building and half outside, with a glass wall separating the parts.

His work physically ties the project to the architecture, making it accessible from inside and out.

The competition was co-sponsored by the Office of Budget, the University Art Museum, and the Boor Sculpture Studio Program.