They pop up on the lawn across the Western Carolina University campus when warm weather arrives in the mountains, like giant dandelions of stone, steel and wood.
“They” are the winning entries in Western Carolina’s annual Outdoor Sculpture Program. Now in its 10th year, the program is designed to draw attention to public sculpture as an art form. It is sponsored by Western’s art department in conjunction with A.K. Hinds University Center, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of Academic Affairs.
New sculptures are typically selected and installed on campus by their creators in the spring or summer, and the works of art remain in place for about a year. Sculptors whose works are selected by a campus committee also give public presentations about their works.
Winners of this year’s competition:
“Blinders,” an 85-inch tall sculpture of granite and steel by Brett Hunter of Alfred Station, N.Y., is located in front of Dodson Cafeteria. The piece focuses on visual relationships, said Marya Roland, associate professor of art.
“Purification,” consisting of six pieces of burnt pine ranging in height from 5 feet to nearly 6 feet tall, can be found in the courtyard area near the Coulter Building. The sculpture is the work of Thomas Matsuda of Conway, Mass., who burned the pieces of pine with the assistance of WCU art students during a performance ritual in April.
“Lazy Boy,” a 38-inch by 29-inch by 38-inch work by Marc Maiorana of the acclaimed Penland School of Crafts, is located on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center. The piece depicts an armchair made of stones within a steel frame, Roland said.
For more information about the Outdoor Sculpture Program, call Beth Johnson at (828) 227-7206.