by Jamie Lawson Reeves
Six young artists who are creating bronze sculptures to be permanently placed on campus as part of a creative partnership between Vanderbilt University and the Newington-Cropsey Foundation (NCF) visited campus Oct.18-21.
Introducing the next-generation artists, who are student members of the NCF Academy of Art, was renowned sculptor Greg Wyatt, director of the NCF's Academy of Art and instructor for the NCF's "Garden of Great Ideas." The apprentices joined on the afternoon of Oct. 20 Vander-bilt faculty and students to present proposals for their artwork during an open dialogue and input session on the "Garden of Great Ideas." The educational goal of the ongoing NCF program is to sponsor placement of meritorious bronze sculpture by young people on U.S. campuses to promote a "marriage" between scholarship and artistry.
Vanderbilt representatives who observed the students' works in progress included Professor of Education Terrence E. Deal; Professor of Philosophy and of Religious Studies Lenn E. Goodman; Professor of Political Science George Graham; Divinity School Dean Joseph Hough; Chair of the Department of Fine Arts Marilyn L. Murphy; Professor of Church History and Theology Eugene TeSelle; Associate Professor of Classics and of Fine Arts Barbara Tsakirgis; and Professor of Classics Susan Ford Wiltshire.
The NCF is a non-profit organization devoted to the study, conservation and exhibition of original paintings by 19th century American Hudson River School artist Jasper F. Cropsey located in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Already in place on campus exemplifying the partnership's "Garden of Great Ideas" is Greg Wyatt's sculpture titled the "Bill of Rights Eagle," which is located near Old Central. "The three-dimensional work of art expresses a sculptural interpretation about universal themes, such as the influences of law on civilization and the respect for the nation's constitutionally protected freedoms," said Wyatt at the time of the sculpture's dedication last spring.
During the next three to five years, the NCF will donate 15 to 20 original bronze sculptures created by apprentice members of the academy for permanent placement on campus as part of the "Garden of Great Ideas." Each artist will create a visual interpretation of an idea selected from a list of universal topics such as time, beauty, memory, progress and the fall of mankind. The NCF sculptors established ongoing communication channels during this trip with Vanderbilt students through the Visiting Artists Program within the Department of Housing and Residential Education.
"This is an exciting opportunity to translate the interaction between our students and visiting artists into lasting contributions to our campus," according to Dean of Residential Life Mark Bandas.
Plans are to permanently incorporate four or five pieces of art into the campus landscape during each of the next few years.
While visiting the Vanderbilt campus, the apprentices toured the campus with Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Planning and Construction Judson Newbern to survey preferred sites for their artwork. In addition to creating an approved work in bronze, each student will prepare a research "text and image" journal reflecting the creative process. A copy of their final journal will be bound and donated to the University.
In late September, Chancellor and Mrs. Joe B. Wyatt, Vice Chancellor for Administration William A. Jenkins and Newbern visited the Newington-Cropsey Foundation in New York to meet Mrs. John C. Newington and trustees of the restored home of Jasper F. Cropsey and the NCF Gallery of Art. They also toured the NCF Academy of Art to view sculpture and meet students of the Educational Program.
Posted 10/27/97 at 10:00 a.m.