This article comes from a press release titled “New Sculpture Coming Soon to WCU’s Apodaca Science Building”
Western Carolina University’s Apodaca Science Building will have a new sculpture in front, named “Staurolite”. The sculpture was created by artist Hoss Haley.
The piece will be installed shortly “within the next few weeks.”
Rachel Hood, Marketing Manager for the Bardo Arts Center, said in a press release that Haley’s sculpture will be a “12-foot representation of a Staurolite Twin, a native mineral commonly found in Northern Georgia but also present in the Western North Carolina region. The name ‘Staurolite’ comes from the Greek word ‘stauros’ for cross and ‘lithos’ for stone, giving it a literal translation of “‘cross-stone.’”
The sculpture is made to look like this mineral.
“For many years, people have used fairy stones as good luck charms, believing that they protect the wearer,” Haley said in the press release.
From his website, Haley wrote: “My perspective is that of an artist. I am not equipped to speak for the Cherokee, nor for the scientific community. I can only speak as an observer. In my research for this project I sought to find a common ground, a universal statement that spoke to the idea that all cultures seek meaning and understanding of humans’ role on Earth. It was through this research that I was introduced to the Fairy Cross or Staurolite.”
The piece is part of a collaboration with the Apodaca Science Building, WCU Fine Art Museum and WCU’s Public Art Committee.
“During the design phase of the Apodaca Science Building in 2018-2019, the WCU Fine Art Museum and the University’s Public Art Committee advocated for funds in the construction budget to commission and purchase site-responsive artwork that would be permanently displayed within the building’s footprint,” wrote Hood.
Together, they found pieces of artwork that have connections to Apodaca’s design choices, like the sciences, through demonstrations from students and faculty or the Cherokee history in the area. The different advisors that went helped find the pieces are from different areas of study such as Anthropology, Geology, Biology, Chemistry & Physics and Cherokee Studies.
“Together with Hoss Haley’s ‘Staurolite’ sculpture, the artworks enhance the students’ learning experience in Apodaca and draw interdisciplinary connections between the sciences and the arts,” Hood wrote in the press release.
The science building will be seeing more art pieces in 2023 from Joshua Adams, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and WCU alum, as well as Mark Nystrom, an award-winning photographer, designer and art director for several universities.