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Syracuse University and City of Syracuse announce creation of Forman Park Sculpture Garden
Syracuse University and City of Syracuse announce creation of Forman Park Sculpture GardenAugust 20, 2008Erica Blustesblust@syr.edu
Syracuse University and the City of Syracuse today announced the creation of a sculpture garden in Forman Park, located at East Genesee Street and Forman Avenue. The sculpture garden is a collaborative effort of the University, SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and the City of Syracuse that enhances the Connective Corridor and furthers the University’s vision of Scholarship in Action?.
The sculpture garden features two installations by SU alumni: “Swoosh,” a steel sculpture by Carole Eisner ’58, a New York- and Connecticut-based artist, and “Wigged Monument,” a steel and high density foam sculpture by recent graduate Jessica Posner ’08. The garden was conceptualized and developed by students in “Sculpture Lab,” a VPA course taught by Sam Van Aken, associate professor of sculpture in the college’s School of Art and Design. The goal of the class is to teach students not only how to create public art but also how to work with a community to design, construct and place art in public areas. Students also have an opportunity to exhibit their work as well as coordinate commissions and loans of work from nationally recognized artists and SU alumni.
“The creation of this sculpture garden on this pivotal section of the Connective Corridor is precisely the kind of engaging cultural development-and the product of precisely the kind of collaboration-that will make the profound potential of Syracuse’s public spaces a reality,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “When you combine visionary community members, committed local business leaders and gifted students, teachers and artists-as we have behind this project-the sky is the limit for what we can accomplish together.”
“Forman Park is the ideal location for the sculpture garden,” says Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll. “This park serves as the gateway between many of our city’s cultural venues, is a main thoroughfare for SU’s Connective Corridor, and is the perfect picturesque natural setting to showcase the varied artists’ magnificent sculpture creativities.”
“It’s critical that our students understand the importance of public art and what it can mean to a community,” says VPA Dean Ann Clarke. “We’re grateful that the City of Syracuse is a place where projects like the ‘Sculpture Lab’ course and the sculpture garden are embraced and supported.”
The idea for creating the sculpture garden in conjunction with the “Sculpture Lab” class was brought to the attention of the University and the City by Syracuse community members John and Candace Marsellus, who saw it as an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the University-City of Syracuse partnership and contribute to the education of SU students and the vitality of the city and the Connective Corridor.
The pieces, which will be on exhibit for one year, were approved for installation by the Public Art Commission of the City of Syracuse. The “Sculpture Lab” class hopes to coordinate exhibitions of new work on an annual basis.
The Connective Corridor is a signature strip of cutting-edge cultural development connecting the University Hill with downtown Syracuse. The Corridor will make investments in key locations to support historic landmarks, cultural institutions and private development in the city. These areas include the emerging arts districts along East Genesee Street and the Near Westside; Forman Park, the Fayette Firefighter’s Memorial Park and Columbus Circle; the Hotel Syracuse; the nightlife of Armory Square; and the Civic Strip, where the Oncenter complex and the Everson Museum of Art tie into the center of downtown. The Corridor will showcase these assets and ignite a resurgence of economic development, tourism and residential growth. For more information on the Connective Corridor, visit http://connectivecorridor.syr.edu.
VPA is the creative center of Syracuse University. The college comprises five areas: the School of Art and Design; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; and the Department of Transmedia. Together, students, faculty and staff play a vital role in the academic and cultural life of the University and Syracuse communities. Learn more about the college at http://vpa.syr.edu.