WMU Home > About WMU > WMU News

WMU News

Eleven new works added to Sculpture Tour

Jan. 26, 2006

KALAMAZOO--There's something new on Western Michigan University's Sculpture Tour--11 somethings, to be exact.

Eleven new pieces have been added to the tour, which brings the work of nationally and internationally renowned artists to WMU as part of an ongoing, large-scale exterior sculpture exhibition on the University's West Campus. The sculptures are arranged along an easy-to-walk route that will take spectators across campus and past several older works. In all, there are 17 works on the tour.

Some of the sculptures are site-specific installation pieces and will stay at a particular location until they degrade and must be removed. Others are loaned to the University before traveling to their next destination.

The pieces run the gamut from abstract to geometric to figurative in form and from shiny, man-made materials to organic, rock-like structures.

"I think they're fantastic," says John Running-Johnson, tour coordinator. "They're very thought-provoking. We're getting pretty well known for this. There aren't a lot of campuses that do this, so I'm very proud of it."

One of the latest pieces to be added, so new that it could not be included in the tour's foldout brochure, is recycled from a previous installation. Those familiar with the tour will remember the blue, pier-like sculpture titled "Michigan Swell," created by internationally acclaimed sculptor, painter and printmaker Robert Stackhouse of Kansas City, Mo.

After some six years withstanding Michigan's elements, Stackhouse's sculpture had to be removed. The school of art sent a photo of the remains to another sculptor, Fisher Stoltz, a professor of art from Bradley University who was coming to WMU as a visiting sculptor and art professor. Stoltz was asked if he was interested in doing another installation using the salvaged materials. He agreed.

In early October, Stoltz, with the help of art students, built a unique, new sculpture on the hill between the Knollwood Art Annex and Korhman Hall. Large enough to sit inside and aptly titled "Stack House," the structure involved stone, mortar, logs, steel and a good deal of sweat.

Other tour highlights include three sculptures that come to WMU from Chicago, Terry Karpowicz's "Maintaining Union," Eric Lindsey's "Becoming" and Barry Hehemann's "2nd 4th." Karpowicz is the former long-time director of the highly regarded Chicago Pier Walk sculpture exhibit and maintains his own studio in Chicago. Lindsey owns his own business as a custom stone craftsman, while Hehemann is the owner of Vector Custom Fabricators, an ornamental steel fabricating company in Chicago.

"What's unique about those three is they're not teachers, but have businesses that also utilize the materials they work in," Running-Johnson says. "They're artists who work with things that relate to their art."

Sculptures on the tour that are not installation pieces are loaned to WMU for two years. Running-Johnson says artists have been very good about loaning the works to the University, helping to make the tour a big success. Artists come from as far away as Berlin and Amsterdam, Netherlands, and nationally from coast to coast.

In addition to educating the campus and larger community, the sculptures give people something pleasant or interesting to look at, Running-Johnson says.

Additional information is available online at www.wmich.edu/art or by calling John Running-Johnson at (269) 387-2430.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400