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17th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition
May 1, 2003 - Feb 29, 2004
John Hooker, O. 2003 / 17th Rosen Sculpture Competition Winner.
Juror: Glen Gentele
Curator: Hank T. Foreman
About the Juror
The creative process in sculpture is ancient, spanning many centuries, and has become imbedded in our psyche as quietly as the genetics that are the blueprints of people. Sculpture has evolved into a multiplicity of approaches and interpretations, touching areas of performance, light, sound, object-based work, installations, film and video. The work presented here forms a comparative analysis of object-based sculpture produced by artists at various points in their careers and working from very different perspectives and places around the nation. Faced with the plight of finding support for their work and identifying places to exhibit, sculptors participate in the Rosen Sculpture Competition because it is high quality and brings forth opportunities for artists working in the realm of large-scale outdoor sculpture. The nature of this art form is that it is not easily moved and installed – nor is it inexpensive to produce. The commitment made by artists to the practice of sculpture is life-long and admirable and each artist is distinguished by their pursuit of excellence and investigations into the field.
The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition is an extraordinary program and a feather in the cap of Appalachian State University. The program vision brings artists, art world professionals, scholars, and critics to Boone, North Carolina, and serves as a conduit between the community, the university campus, and artists from around the nation. Many thanks to Hank T. Foreman, Director, and Brook Greene, Assistant Curator, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, for their invitation to serve as juror and for their gracious hospitality and wit. Special thanks goes to the many artists who submitted proposals for this exhibition.
O: John Hooker
Concrete and steel.
Rosen Award 1st Place
The idea for this piece arrived to me after watching an episode of the public television program NOVA. This particular episode dealt with the evolution of how a particular mathematical theorem (Fermat’s Last Theorem) was finally solved after four hundred years by a contemporary mathematician. The theorem itself servers no practical purpose, yet the mathematician devoted seven arduous years of his life to solving the problem. The story made me consider how something as elusive as mathematical perfection is arrived at through difficult attempts and overwhelming failure. Until that time, I had never considered the study of mathematics, with all of its rules and proofs, as an entirely human endeavor. In that way, the study of both art and mathematics are rarely about perfection and beauty, but instead about and individual’s efforts to better understand the environment. The shape for this sculpture, the elliptical curve, was essential to solving the theorem.
John Hooker Prey: Wendy Klemperer
Brooklyn, New York
Steel and aqua resin. 3′ 4″ x 8′ 4″ x 3′ 10″
Rosen Award 3rd Place
On display now as part of the Rosen Sculpture Loan Program
My childhood animal obsession led me to hours of looking, drawing, and fantasizing. I internalized forms and gestures through scrutinizing photos and living animals, which later gave me the ability to put into three dimensions images that exist in my head. This facility is not the objective of my work, but a means to convey an expressive moment. The materials I use retain a raw, rough-edged quality, revealing their nature and display in the image with tactile directness. To make the steel sculpture I search scrap yards for pieces that have been discarded and ravaged by life in the yard. Bent and twisted, such pieces contain energy and a potential new life. The sculptures are not ultimately about animals as anecdotes or records of an actual creature; they use the body language of animals to express a feeling or state of being. This linear evocation elicits a visceral response, despite our insulated, technological culture.
Booth: Brian Gustafson
Aluminum and glass.
Rosen Award 3rd Place
As a sculptor I use objects in the public environment that one might readily find available and ordinary (i.e. a newspaper stand or a bench), so the work does not immediately signal to the audience that “this is a sculpture.” After a moment’s inspection the audience experiences a ‘double-take’ in which they realized the object does not comply with assumed expectation. This moment of uncertainty resonates with the viewer as they ponder the purpose and meaning of the object.
The sculpture I create for public exhibition uses a form that follows a predefined assumed function. However, the function I employ is usually not the indexical or primary function of the object. Rather the form often draws upon a connotative or implied function. By taking this detour the sculpture rearticulates or reimagines the logic and reality of the environment around it. Thus, I hope my work invites the audience to reflect on how they perceive normalcy in the world around them and the nature of human interaction.
By removing an expected function from an object the terms of engagement between the participant and the object are changed. In this space, where the participant negotiates how they will engage the object, the relationship to what should be ordinarily acceptable, or know becomes extremely sensitive.
AHHHHHH #2: John Costanza
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
I am a sculptor as well as a painter. I am competent and confident in both mediums. Generally my sculptures are abstract ceramic forms. Part of what I do is to explore, invent and experiment with simple shapes using the cube, cylinder, or rectangle. The surface of the forms are generally finished with ceramic oxides, glazes, or polychromed lacquer, and some are fused with metal, glass, or stone fragments.
Hub: Harold “Skip” Van Houten
Steel, cast iron, bronze and stone.
My large-scale outdoor pieces are constructed in plate steel with contained stone. These pieces concentrate on the focus of energy in one internal point. These outdoor pieces could be compared to the exposed infrastructure of an airplane’s fuselage. They are structural without having an external skin.
-Harold “Skip” Van Houten
Listening Post: They Should Have Heard Us Coming: Dean Langworthy
Wood, galvanized metal, rope, and tubing. Site specific
This series is based on the absurdist proposition that the outcome of history would have been considerably different had Native Americans had access to 19th Century European technology. It contains the spiritual and stylistic elements of Native American culture, but social, tactical and mechanical invention of their adversaries, White Euro-Americans.
I use this platform to consider the elements of sound, movement, adaptation to site and environment, and other sculptural and conceptual concerns. Everything I construct is the machine and /or weapon it appears to be and is fully functional.
The Listening Post is a simple predate to radar. The listening trumpets (large galvanized steel cones) will be mounted at least 15 feet above ground. The cones measure 10 feet in length and will be bound to the tree horizontally. The cones are aimed independently toward active sound sources (walkways, park areas, buildings.)
Sound will be gathered from the surrounding area and funneled through rubber tubing, to a larger carved and hollowed tree used as the listening post. The participant will sit within the hollow if the tree and listen to the magnified sounds of his environment. Both natural sounds and conversations can be heard at some distance.
Remnant: Shawn Morin
Bowling Green, Ohio
Mixed granites and marble
“… This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again. They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
Ezekiel 11:17-20 (NIV)
About the Artist
Just prior to receiving his B.F.A. in sculpture, Shawn Morin asked one of the professors he admired most: “So, do you think I have what it takes to be an artist”? Without missing a beat or bating an eye, he smiled and said, “NO, you don’t.” A few months later Morin entered the M.F.A. program as the University of Georgia in Athens as an “irregular undergrad,” which, when translated means, “we’ll let you enroll on a trial basis, take your money for a year and see what happens”. After successfully completing his first year in Athens, he was fully accepted into the masters program and granted an assistantship. However, a few weeks later he received a letter from the university stating that his assistantship was being revoked and that he was being asked to leave the university due to low GRE test scores. Nevertheless, Morin completed his M.F.A. the following year and at age 26 began his teaching career. Recently, he chaired a committee that abolished the GRE requirement for M.F.A. applicants at BGSU. The very next year, the number of graduate applications in the School of Art more than doubled.
Morin has just completed his nineteenth year as Head of the Sculpture Program at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He has participated in more than 140 exhibitions throughout the country, and his work can be seen in 15 permanent public collections, and is included in over 35 private collections. Since 1992, nearly every one of Morin’s own graduate students are currently teaching in high schools, colleges, and universities around the country.
For more information, visit shawnmorinsculpture.com.
Repose: Horace Farlowe
Georgia Marble. 12′ x 12′ x 12′
I have always thought of making art as a way of life. I do not see it as a profession, but as a philosophy. The art I make is the result of influences other artists have had on me, my observations through travel and the seriousness of working every day in the studio. Artists have a responsibility to uphold a history of dedication other working artists have always had in this way of life.
Repose is one of many stone sculptures I have made that has aesthetical and practical concerns. It is a sculpture that can be utilized as a bench. The architecturally constructed forms in the sculpture are composed to provide a place for public rest and contemplation.
Sitting in Suspension: Durant Thompson
The Kiss (Adam and Eve Series): Fred Nagelbach
Oak and steel.
About the Artist
Professor, Sculpture (1968), BA, 1965 Valparaiso University; MFA, 1967, Rhode Island School of Design; Certificate, 1968, Akademie Kuenste, Germany.
Exhibitions: Bowery Gallery, NY; Perimeter Gallery, Chicago; Wustum Museum, WI.
Awards: Fulbright-Hays Scholarship; NEW Grant; Illinois Arts Council Grant.
For more information, visit www.artic.edu/saic/art/projects/faculty/fnagelbach-p1.html.
The Spring of 2003 saw great changes for the visual arts and the cultural landscape of Appalachian State University. Building upon the foundation of high quality visual arts programming like the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition, the university celebrated the opening of the first portion of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and its beautiful Martin and Doris Rosen Galleries. To celebrate the milestone, this year’s Rosen Outdoor Sculpture program celebrated with increased national coverage for the winning artists and increased prize money.
Traditionally, each of the ten artists in the exhibition are awarded an honorarium for their participation, and the juror selects the winner of the Rosen Award. This year saw the continuation of the honorarium, an increase in the Rosen Award, and the addition of a second and third cash award. The funds to support this exciting year of celebration were provided by longtime patrons Martin and Doris Rosen. Over the years, the Rosens have ensured that Appalachian State University is home to artistic achievement of national merit. With the lush greenness of spring’s arrival, comes a new season of public sculpture. Each year the campus comes alive with the diverse concepts, materials, and methods of contemporary sculpture.
As we spend each day living among these works, it is easy to take such a program for granted. Walking to our daily destinations we glance over the landscape and take in these works. Maybe we notice something new, see someone interacting with a sculpture, or even question the juror’s selection. Next year will mark the eighteenth year for the sculpture program, and it is not unusual to become accustomed to what we have always known. However, when visitors come to campus, or educational specialists are on campus to evaluate the university, the profusion of public art is one of the first aspects of campus mentioned. It is a rare thing to get to live among such art … whether we are stimulated, amused, or confused.
Another gauge of the value of such a public arts program is the fact that almost every year some community, arts organization, or university contacts us for guidance on how they can establish a similar program. There are few art programs of this nature that have enjoyed such longevity, artistic excellence, and diversity.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Rosens for their continued support of the visual arts, and public sculpture. I congratulate them and the university for the vision of including major works of art on campus, and for providing the opportunity we have to live with such creative, well crafted, and challenging works of art.
Hank T. Foreman
Director & Chief Curator
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
About the Curator
Hank Foreman serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as Director and Chief Curator of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts for Appalachian State University. He obtained his M.A. in Art Education from Appalachian, having completed undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with a concentration in Painting and Sculpture. His duties include the administrative responsibilities for An Appalachian Summer Festival, the Performing Arts Series, Farthing Auditorium and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.
During his tenure at Appalachian State, Foreman has taken part in the organization of numerous exhibitions, including the associated lectures, symposia, and publications. He has worked closely with the university’s Department of Art, and a wide variety of other campus and community groups, to make gallery resources available to all. One of his earliest exhibitions at Appalachian, Views From Ground Level: Art and Ecology in the Late Nineties, brought internationally acclaimed artists, historians, and critics to the campus and received national attention.
Foreman is also an exhibiting studio artist, and participates in regional and national conferences as a presenter and panelist.
A Special Thanks from the Curator
On behalf of An Appalachian Summer Festival, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, I wish to thank all of the artists participating in this year’s competition and congratulate those chosen for the exhibition. Each year the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Martin and Doris Rosen. The Rosen’s are tireless supporters of the arts, and over the years, have given so much of themselves to ensure that the arts became a more integral part of our community. Their excitement and dedication serves as both inspiration and role model. I would like to thank our juror, Glen Gentele, for his dedication, humor and professionalism during the completion of his difficult tasks. We wish to thank our colleagues in the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Art Department. Special thanks to our designer – Ed Midgett, photographer – Troy Tuttle, Assistant Curator – Brook Greene, the folks at Boone Crane, Sonny Struss for all of his assistance during installations Gallery Assistant: Tasha Bilodeau, and our gallery interns Katy Medley and Segolene Grison for their tireless energy. A heartfelt thanks to Jim Bryan – Grounds Superintendent, Evan Rowe and Beth Clark – Safety Officers and the entire Grounds Department of the Appalachian State University Physical Plant for their cooperation and expertise and for making our campus a beautiful venue for outdoor sculpture.
Hank T. Foreman