KOKOMO, Ind. – The Indiana University Kokomo campus has a whole new look.
New sculptures are prominently displayed, providing fresh subjects for art classes, unique backgrounds for selfies, and new conversation starters.
Wayne Madsen, assistant professor of new media, who was on the selection committee, said the artwork adds to the community culture, as well as providing visual beauty for the campus.
“As a practicing artist, I feel that culture is the way to bring in the best types of talent and ideas to a community,” he said. “People want to live where there is artwork around them. By adding art to our community, we’re trying to improve the quality of life here, and bring people to our campus.”
The new work is the third collection since the first seven sculptures arrived in 2016, with the idea that they would be leased for two years, then replaced.
Katie Chattin, IU assistant curator for campus art, said the campus and community have embraced the public art program. The new arrivals were delayed one year by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re so excited to have them back,” she said. “People are really engaged with the art, and they are sad when a collection leaves. This program brings an appreciation for art to campus that wasn’t here before.”
The selection committee, which also included John Sarber, director of physical facilities, and Aaron Pickens, assistant professor of new media, chose from about 50 submissions.
Sarber noted that name plates with information about each one will be placed nearby so viewers may learn more. Many of the artists have websites, which show where pieces have been placed previously.
“I think it’s interesting to see where they’ve been,” he said. “Some of them have been through hurricanes, or placed prominently in New York City, and now they are here on our campus. It’s kind of cool to see that history.”
He also enjoys seeing students and faculty interacting with the sculptures, including having students draw them or write about them, or using them as landmarks during campus tours.
The artwork is installed in the campus quad, on the east side of the Kelley Student Center, near Havens Auditorium, outside the Library, and east of Hunt Hall.
The sculptures, which range from two to nine feet tall, include:
Serpentine Duality, serpentine, stainless steel, cast glass, Glenn Zweygardt, Alfred Station, New York
Instead, cast iron and mild steel, Alison Ouellette-Kirby, Alton, Illinois