Winning Sculpture Ideas to Grace
by Greta Petry (December 10,
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.
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
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
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
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
His work physically ties the project to the
architecture, making it accessible from inside
The competition was co-sponsored by the Office
of Budget, the University Art Museum, and the
Boor Sculpture Studio Program.