About the Brock Commons Outdoor Sculpture Program

Established in 2004, Longwood University’s Brock Commons Outdoor Sculpture Program has prominently placed on campus a variety of sculpture by nationally known artists. The sculpture program’s purpose is to bring to campus contemporary art and artists to foster intellectual discourse and illuminate the creative process, and to provide an aesthetic environment in which the visual arts can be appreciated on a daily basis.

List of Participating Artists Since The Progam Began in 2004:

Carl Billingsley (Greenville, NC)
David Boyajian (Danbury, CT)
Charlie Brouwer (Floyd, VA)
Kendall Buster (Richmond, VA)
Anthony Cervino (Carlisle, PA)
Kathleen Driscoll (Medford, MA)
Christopher Fennell (Birmingham, AL)
Be Gardiner
Mike Hansel (Newport, RI)
Brece Honeycutt
Cathrin Hoskinson (Brooklyn, NY)
Jonathan Hils (Norman, OK)
Paul Howe (Greensboro, NC)
Tripp Jarvis (Greenville, NC)
Hanna Jubran (Greenville, NC)
Billy Lee (Greensboro, NC)
William Martin (Providence, RI)
Ledelle Moe (Baltimore, MD)
Rob Neilson (Appleton, WI)
Foo Sham (Springfield, VA)
Lucy Slivinski (Chicago, IL)
Sam Spiczka (Sauk Rapids, MN)
Wayne Trapp (Vilas, NC)
Sandy Willcox (Farmville, VA)
Joyce Zarins (Amesbury, MA)

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Carl Billingsley (Greenville, NC)
(shown below)

Exhibited April 2004-2006 in front of the Dorrill Dining Hall.

A public lecture was presented on April 16, 2004 at 6:30 p.m. in Bedford Auditorium

Sponsored by the Longwood University Art Department, the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, the Office of the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Office of Facilities Management.

About the Artist

Carl Billingsley is a professor of art at East Carolina University and serves as sculpture area coordinator. His large-scale outdoor works have been exhibited in prestigious exhibitions throughout the world including exhibitions in Brazil, Finland, Latvia, Israel, Norway, Germany, Japan, Estonia, Spain, Russia, and Macedonia. In the US, his works have been exhibited in Florida, Pennsylvania, Alabama, New Jersey, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Maryland, Tennessee, New York, and Indiana. He received a BFA and MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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David Boyajian
AMARYLLIS: From Bud to Seed to Flowing Form (1998)

stainless steel - 11 x 13 x 8 feet
Installed Spring 2009 in near Greenwood Library

http:// www.davidboyajian.com

Artist’s Statement

Public art should be accessible and evoke a sense of reason. If the art is to communicate, it must entice and motivate those who live and work among it to ask questions and in doing so tempt their imagination. When this happens, the process of the collective creative journey begins. Ultimately this should stimulate the viewers’ own creative responses to their surroundings. Public art is for the people.

About the Artist

David Boyajian has exhibited his award-winning sculpture internationally. He received his BFA from Alfred University in New York, and he earned his MFA from the Rinehart School of Scupture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.  A resident of Connecticut, he teaches at his own studio, the Sculpture Barn; at the Silvermine School of Art; and at Norwalk Community College.  His works have appeared in ten states across the east coast as well as in Japan.  He has executed dozens of commissions for public venues – including firehouses, libraries, and schools; corporate clients – such as Pepsi Co., Citizens Utilities and CPG Architectures; and a number of private collections.

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Charlie Brouwer (Floyd, Virginia)
From Whence Cometh My Help? (2005)

Locust wood, deck screws, preservation stain, 81” x 24” x 24”
Installed Spring 2008

Artist’s Statement: This very old human question (in the title) seems to be especially appropriate today. We seem to be in need of help and our help is needed by others.

About the Artist: Retired from teaching sculpture, drawing, and art education at Radford University, Charlie Brouwer has shown his work in nearly 200 exhibitions worldwide. Nationally, his work has been displayed in Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin; internationally, in Australia, Hungary, and Poland. From Whence Cometh My Help? will travel from Charlottesville, where it was featured in the Art-in-Place program for 2006-2007.

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Kendall Buster (Richmond, VA)
Bloom (Steel Hide), 1992

steel with enamel and graphite paint
Installed Spring 2006

Sited between Grainger and Lancaster halls, Bloom (Steel Hide) is a large-scale spherical form constructed from steel and painted with enamel and graphite paint. In this piece artist Kendall Buster focuses on the underlying structure of natural forms. Of Bloomand similar works in her oeuvre she states, “These architectural structures often occupy a territory where ‘nature and machine’ might meet. Combined, for example, are dirigible and chrysalis, belly and cage, honeycomb and subterranean vault. But central to each of the works—whether the interior is exposed like a dissected specimen for entry, or an enclosure is punctured with a tight opening—is an interplay between what is revealed and what is concealed. Viewing slots link exterior with interior space and create framed sight-lines. Narrow entryways and low passages act in direct confrontation with the body, compressing space and directing movement. At times one is hidden, at times one is exposed. There is a contradictory promise of protection and trap.”

About the Artist

Kendall Buster is an associate professor in the Department of Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. Art in America reported in March of 2004, “Kendall Buster has been aptly called the ‘dyna-mite’ of American sculpture. She is of diminutive stature and makes monumentally powerful, often huge sculptures. A tornado of energy, she pushes a vision that varies from minimalist, quasi-architectural purity to funky playfulness.” Kendall Buster received her master’s degree in sculpture from Yale University and has exhibited her work internationally. Her works can be found in major collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

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Anthony Cervino
(Carlisle, Pennsylvania)
Lesson One (2011)
steel, cast concrete and paint, 10’ x 4’ x 6’
Lecture: Wednesday 6 April 2011, 6 p.m., Hiner 207
This installation was funded through a Longwood Parents Council grant. For more information about grants, contact firstyear at longwood.edu.

About the Artist: After a false start studying poultry science, Anthony Cervino returned to school as an art major. He holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from Towson University, both in sculpture. He has worked in museums in Baltimore and Washington, DC and is now Assistant Professor of Art at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. His work has been exhibited at many national venues including The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, The Duke University Museum of Art, The Gallery at Flashpoint in Washington, D.C. and Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia among others. He has created a new sculpture for Longwood’s campus, an installation of found, manipulated, and fabricated objects that he calls “equal parts authentic and artifice … that blurs the line between personal memory and … a larger collective social experience.”

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Kathleen Driscoll (Medford, MA)
Mother's Milk (2005)

Exhibited April 2005 - 2007

On April 11 Kathleen Driscoll installed her work Mother’s Milk 1 adjacent to the Greenwood Library on Brock Commons. The new work, made from burlap and Hydrostone®, a plaster-like substance, was constructed on site. The large white flowing form suggests the monumental importance of mothers and in referring to milk simultaneously alludes to dependence on mothers for physical and emotional nourishment. In global terms it also serves as a metaphor for Mother Nature and human dependence on the environment for sustainability.

About the Artist:
Kathleen Driscoll is a nationally acclaimed artist with work in many private and corporate collections. She is best known for her outdoor large-scale site-specific sculptures. Installations include works built in Massachusetts at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Boston Parks, the Fuller Museum, the Revolving Museum, and Chesterwood; in Washington for the Bellevue Arts Commission; and now in Virginia for Longwood’s Brock Commons. She has won awards and grants including an A.R.T Grant from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. Critics have reviewed her work consistently over the years in national newspapers and Sculpture Magazine.

Artist’s Statement:
I have been building large-scale on-site sculptures since 1994 and showing other sculptures and drawings in galleries for longer than that. My process is unique in that I build the outdoor pieces on site based on ideas drawn on paper. I use burlap dipped in Hydrocal® or Hydrostone® and drape it over existing or built structures to create sculptural form. So far the sculptures are minimal forms that reference water structures, as in Wall of Ice, The River that Flows over Nothing, Column One: Falling Water, Blue River Rock, etc. Nature becomes a metaphor for human emotion. Mother’s Milk 1 is a reforming of the ideas of Wall of Ice that originated from the complex emotional connection to the mother, the nutrients sustained from milk and ideas associated with the manufacturing of food.

The reason I began building temporary works outside was so that I could work with large-scale forms directly. The work I have developed has all to do with a temporary medium that shows a vision of large-scale form. I developed this process from the traditional process of casting withplaster that I learned in my academic and classical undergraduate work at Boston University. Since leaving there I have worked at trying to be contemporary in the ideas and forms of my art. Although I have achieved this, it is fascinating how classical in form my minimal works appear even after the pursuit to go beyond this. I have been interested in how that classical education returns and influences the work. Recently, I have been researching the use of drapery and the use of creature/animal forms found in the pottery of the ancient Greeks. This imagery has a lot to say about our contemporary life, our emotions and our fears. Currently, I am developing drawings with these ideas and images that include nature, beasts and drapes exploring how they will be used in the work.

While doing my undergraduate work I became familiar with the art of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. During and after graduate work I moved on to interests and issues in contemporary art. While creating my graduate work I explored the artwork of Hinduism and Buddhism and explored Greek myth. I became interested in how these religions related to each other and overlapped in imagery and idea. I applied much of this to a personal exploration in my work, though abstractly. Now in a phase of mature work I am called back to explore this overlapping in ideas and how it relates to our contemporary life. It is my challenge to explore the meaning of these creature symbols and how they relate to our contemporary experience of nature. As the natural environment and creatures disappear on our planet, the Greek bestial symbols live on as idea, and so will the actual creatures that roam our earth and the most extraordinary natural phenomena. They will become idea.

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Christopher Fennell (Birmingham, Alabama)
Barn Pinecone (2008)

Wood, 6’ x 8’ x 12’
Installed Spring 2008

Artist’s Statement: The materials I use have been cast out by society, for example: demolished barns, broken bicycles and downed trees. I transform these objects into dynamic pieces and connect them into recognizable shapes of waves, tornados, and pillars of fire.

About the Artist (from the Austin-American Statesman): Christopher Fennell “grew up in Florida doing construction work, then got an engineering degree and went to work in robotics. A job designing flight simulators followed, but Fennell said he got bored with using existing components to design things. He wanted to create from scratch. So he went back to school and earned a MFA. One of his professors wanted him to tear down an old barn, which inspired Fennell to build his first colossal sculpture. ‘I saw the barn falling down, and then the idea came to build a wave,’ Fennell said. He built the barn ‘wave,’ then followed it by fusing 150 bicycles together to create a ‘tornado’ in 2001. Using discarded objects to create sculpture has become his theme.” Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Fennell has since exhibited his award-winning work in more than a dozen states.

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Be Gardiner (West Jefferson, NC)
Misguided Angel (1989)
Installed March 2004 adjacent to Wygal Hall

A public lecture was held on March 31, 2004 at 6:30p.m.in Bedford Auditorium.

Artist's Statement:
In one of his novels D.H. Lawrence has a wedding guests propose the toast “Here’s to the newly weds! It takes two human beings to make an angel.” Carl Jung from a slightly different perspective researched his own and other people’s psyches looking for the manners in which biological males carry feminine aspects, their animas, and females a masculine, their animus. In his cosmology the anima is a creative messenger mediating the divine, an avenue leading men to god. Women, in his view, or at least that of his successors, were already more in tune with the spiritual and therefore faced the task of joining with the more workaday and practical animus.

they come, two as one
small white breasted birds, landing
among swollen buds

About the Artist:       
The artist was born in Washington, DC in 1950 and received a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1972. He began carving stone in 1979 and started publicly exhibiting his work in 1980. During the ensuing seventeen years of his career as a sculptor he showed in numerous group shows throughout the Southeast.

Gardiner has participated in one person shows at the Center of the Earth Gallery in Charlotte, the Gray Gallery at East Carolina University, the Ewing Gallery at the University of Tennesse-Knoxville, Somerhill Gallery in Chapel Hill, the Greenhill Center for NC Art, UNC-Asheville, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach, and the Ergo Sum Gallery in Augusta. In addition, he has participated in most of the university and college outdoor exhibitions in the southeast. Specifically his works have be exhibited at the Universities of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and  Birmingham,  Appalachian State University, Western Carolina University, Lynchburg College, The University of Notre Dame, Radford University, the University of Tennesse-Knoxville, and Chattanooga State. Nearly all these institutions have purchase Gardiner’s work for their permanent collections.

The artist has received various awards and prizes including the Rosen Prize from Jack Burnham and first prize at the Bryan Invitational Exhibition from Helaine Posner. He has also participated in residencies and workshops, most significantly at The Carving Studio in VT and The Ann Norton sculpture Gardens in Palm Beach, FL. Gardiner was also the subject of a documentary film, Hungers of the Soul by Hap Kindem.

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Mike Hansel (Newport, Rhode Island)
Intestinal Fortitude (2005)
Stainless steel, 15’ x 12’ x 6’
Installed Spring 2008 behind Lancaster Hall

Artist’s Statement: I try to combine the organic and the man-made. Ideally, I’d like to think that nature and industry aren’t really opposites, but more like complementary terms. My goal is to create finished compositions that leave the viewer with the comfort of familiarity and the uncertainty of not being able to truly identify or categorize any of the forms.

About the Artist: Mike Hansel heads the art department at St. George’s School and teaches art at Salve Regina University, both in Newport, Rhode Island. His large-scale steel sculptures combine mechanical and organic forms and have been exhibited in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Intestinal Fortitude won the “Best of Show” award at the 2005 Port Warwick Art and Sculpture Festival in Newport News.  

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Jonathan Hils
Right Turn (2005)
Welded and painted steel; 18' 6" x 7' x 5'
Installed April 2009

Lecture: April 8, 6 p.m., Bedford Hall Auditorium

Artist’s Statement
My creative interests are informed from a variety of sources including biology, industry, networks, systematic progression, crafts, ornament, textiles and drawing…. Conceptually, the aim of this [body of] work is to question the American identity as it pertains to both domestic and international perceptions of class, politics and belief systems.

About the Artist
A native of New Hampshire, Jonathan W. Hils is an Associate Professor of sculpture at the University of Oklahoma. He received his BFA degree from Georgia State University and his MFA from Tulane University.  The recipient of the 2005 Oklahoma Visual Art Coalition Fellowship for outstanding creative work in the visual arts, Hils’ work is represented in several private and corporate collections including the Hyatt Corporation, Tysons Galleria (McClean, VA), and Equity West Investment Partners (Denver, CO). He has shown extensively across the U.S. including the Grounds For Sculpture and the 21st Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition, where he won the 2007-2008 grand prize award. He has also been selected for a prestigious John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry artist residency.

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Brece Honeycutt
at Table (1999)

Installed March 2005 near Bedford Hall

Brece Honeycutt installed her thirty-foot sculpture at Table (1999) on Brock Commons near the Bedford Building on March 22. The piece takes the form of a large slate table with wooden legs. On the slate are written recipes passed down through time in Virginia, and around its perimeter is a chronology of assorted developments in the history of cooking. Kristen Hileman, Curator of the Arlington Arts Center, wrote about Honeycutt and at Table, “Interested in women’s roles through history, Honeycutt [included] the ‘domestic’ history of Virginia and the women who lived here, focusing on Mary Randolph (1762-1828). Randolph, who was the first person buried in Arlington Cemetery, authored one of the first American cookbooks, The Virginia House-wife (1824). From this initial connection to Randolph, Honeycutt decided to pursue the rich theme of Virginia cooking, which as a daily necessity connected all generations and racial and ethnic groups in the state, and in terms of blending tastes and influence often integrated these groups. At the same time, however, Honeycutt makes the viewer aware that the work and history of cooking is weighted with issues of labor, class, race, and gender.” 

A quotation from Randolph’s cookbook underscores the crucial, life-sustaining dailiness of the work of the cook in an evolving cultural context that figures in at Table: “The greater part of the following recipes have been written from memory, where they were impressed by long continued practice.” Honeycutt elaborates: “Memory, practice and a delicate hand helped the early American cook in the kitchen. Recipes were read out loud to cooks, who were not allowed to read themselves. History is often passed down by word of mouth. Some chronicles remain and some disappear.”

About the Artist:
Honeycutt holds a B.A. in Art History from Skidmore College and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her works have been exhibited nationally in Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., as well as internationally in Vietnam and England.

Artist’s Statement:
All of my projects begin with research. Primary sources—journals, diaries, letters, photographs—as well as history books provide me with the background I need to make the final sculpture. Objects related to my subject—the washboards, buckets, skillets used by pioneer women; handwritten recipes on the chalkboards—provide the visual foundation for each piece. The textures and colors of wax, paper pulp, pigment and hand written text enrich these utilitarian forms and enhance their symbolic function.

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Cathrin Hoskinson (Brooklyn, NY)
Red Leaf, 2006

Exhibited 2010-2012 across from Greenwood Library.

Artist’s Statement
In my work a reference to the systems of nature intersects with ideas of systems of the body. The veiny yearning branches of trees, or interconnected ripples of water
seek to give a physical presence to ephemeral ideas about the self or its memory of place. The work is made of cut out aluminum or brass sheet, copper and aluminum screening, wood and bronze. They are formed into fragile lines which create an interaction of color and shadow with their surroundings. As if I am writing a poem, the different materials and forms combine metaphors, but in the end the object takes on a presence of its own. My work is an ongoing enquiry into structures, both the specific forms of the hand, spinal column, rib cage, ladder, garment, etc. and the geometric patterns observed in nature. I find myself making tracings as if trying to figure out a puzzle.

About the Artist
Cathrin Hoskinson's work has been exhibited across the country and is featured in collections in the United States and Canada. She received a B.F.A in sculpture from the State University of New York (Purchase) along with one in printmaking from Concordia University in Montreal. Then she earned her M.F.A. from Hunter College in New York. Her work has been praised as "adept," "versatile," and "sophisticated" by the Gannet Newspapers, and The New York Times noted that her "combination of simplicity and strangeness is alluring."

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Paul Howe (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Spurl (2010)
steel and concrete, 10 x 4.5 x 4.75 feet

Lecture: Wednesday 9 March 2011, 6 p.m., Bedford Hall Auditorium

Artist Statement: “It’s not as if I think steel and concrete will ever actually assemble itself into a living organism, but steel and concrete, so present, so essential in our built environment … does have a certain life of its own.”

About the Artist: Paul Howe is currently pursuing his MFA at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his BFA from SUNY Plattsburgh in New York. For the past three summers he worked as a staff member at Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota, where in 2008 he also installed an untitled work. He has shown works in several outdoor public exhibitions in the past six years, including the HarborArts Outdoor Exhibition in Boston, MA.

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Tripp Jarvis (Greenville, NC)
The Golden Mirror, 2005

Installed Spring 2006

Tripp Jarvis’ The Golden Mirror is located in front of the Dorrill Dining Hall. The Golden Mirror was selected by Art Department seniors, who reviewed proposals by sculptors from across the country. Jennifer Rouse ’06 stated, “Out of all the sculptures we had to choose from, The Golden Mirror is the one I enjoyed the most. It is a very elegant piece, and I feel it is the most appropriate for the campus.”

The Golden Mirror is a large-scale steel sculpture that references architectural forms such as towers, turrets, temples, totems, and pagodas. Jarvis says that his works “speak about the sacredness of the world (temple), the physical world holding the spiritual (the vessel) and the axis or center of my being, thoughts, and dreams (the totem). Each sculpture is a journey into one of these worlds, and many times they embrace each other while always unfolding another essence.”

Tripp Jarvis received both his BFA and MFA degrees in sculpture from East Carolina University (Greenville, NC). His work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad in Estonia and Finland.

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Hanna Jubran (Grimesland, NC)
Mountain Landscape, 2004

polychromed steel
Installed Spring 2007

Of the sculpture, Jubran states, “This abstract painted steel sculpture depicts a mountain landscape. The circular form can be interpreted as the sun rising or setting. The horizontal and diagonal forms represent the mountain, horizon and clouds.”   He adds that although the sculpture is painted, its colors change “depending on the time of day and season. It also changes as you move around the sculpture and its relation to the background.”

Hannah Jubran received his MFA in sculpture and ceramics from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. His work has been exhibited across the country including exhibitions in Alabama, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Internationally, his works have been exhibited in Argentina, Canada, China, Cuba, Denmark Finland, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan. Jubran’s accolades include Distinguished Alumni Award (University of Milwaukee) and Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award (Southeastern Museum Conference). He currently is a professor of art at East Carolina University, where he teaches sculpture.

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Billy Lee (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Table (1995)
Painted Steel, 5 x 5 x 5 feet
Lecture: Thursday, November 4, 6 p.m., Hiner Hall Auditorium

About the Artist: An international award-winner, Billy Lee has installed sculptures in permanent collections from Michigan to Texas. He’s also represented in public collections in Chile, China, Hungary, Japan, and a host of other nations. Lee serves as Professor of Art at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Describing his work, Lee said, “I am interested in a sculptural vocabulary, what I would term as visual poetry.”

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William Martin (Providence, RI)
Oilpull, 2002

Exhibited 2010-2012 initially near Wygal Hall, then near Jarman

A public lecture was presented on March 17, 2010 at 6 p.m. in Hiner Auditorium

William Martin creates sculptural contraptions that look like they could work, but, are, in fact, functionless. Drawing from the history of invention, Martin invites viewers to imagine narratives for these humorous and technologically useless devices. Oilpull is one such gadget of impossibility. Each of its elements is an assemblage of shapes derived from old mid-western farm industry. Even the title refers to a specific name-brand of steam-powered tractors. The cylindrical parts of the work are abstractions of grain silos, the disc-like components originate from steam train wheels, and the base is a wooden interpretation of a train track. Horse head oil pumps that Martin remembers from the expansive fields in the mid-west inspire the sculpture’s arced pose. Oilpull’s materials and various parts reference industrial equipment, but in their aggregation they are transformed into an elegant work of abstraction.

About the Artist:

Martin received a BFA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a MFA from Louisiana State University. In addition to the more typical mediums of wood and steel, he also works in blacksmithing and iron casting. His work has been included in numerous national exhibitions and collections. A few noteworthy examples include DeCordova Sculpture Park, Convergence Outdoor Sculpture in Providence RI, Indiana State University, New Orleans Hilton Riverside Paul Buckley Collection, and The Fidelity Investment Collection. Martin teaches sculpture at Rhode Island College in Providence.

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Ledelle Moe (Baltimore, MD) Moe Collapse
Memorial (Collapse) , 2005

concrete and steel, 5 x 7 x 6 feet
Installed Fall 2008 near Greenwood Library

About the artist: 
Ledelle Moe was born in Durban, South Africa in 1971. A travel grant in 1994 brought her to the United States, where she earned a master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She now teaches in the Sculpture Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland. Moe has exhibited in venues in the United States and Austria, South Africa, and Sweden. Presently based in Baltimore, she continues to work on large-scale pieces and travels home annually to work and visit in South Africa. In 2008, she received the Kreeger Museum Artist Award, a biennial recognition of excellence, creativity, and influence among DC-area artists.

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Rob Neilson (Appleton, WI)
Two-Headed Trojan Ducky, 2004

polyurethane, EPS foam, paint, and wood
Installed Spring 2007 near Greenwood Library

Thirty-seven years after Ernie began singing about his rubber ducky on Sesame Street, a giant version of his “very best friend” arrived on the Longwood Campus.  Wisconsin sculptor Rob Neilson takes a playful approach to art, resulting in Two-Headed Trojan Ducky, which has the shape and colors, if not the scope and size, of a regular bathtub duck. Previously featured at Chicago’s Navy Pier, the nearly seven-foot-long sculpture appears near Greenwood Library.

Two-Headed Trojan Ducky was picked by a selection committee that included graduating art students.  Senior and committee member West Bryant praised the sculpture for its exuberance, and commented that it would be “a good conversation piece” that would “bring attention to the art on Longwood’s campus.”

Noting the sculpture’s roots in pop art, fellow student and committee member Thomas Santerre explained that he chose the work because it was so different than the other art on campus.  He also predicted that students will like the piece because it “looks fun and inviting…. I mean, who doesn’t like a giant-sized yellow rubber ducky?” 

About the Artist:

Rob Neilson is assistant professor of art at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI.  Trained at the College for Creative Studies and with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, he has done numerous installations and completed commissions for mass transits stations, hospitals, and the city of Los Angeles.

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Foo Sham
Vascular Form #3
10’ x 6’x 6’
wood blocks
Installed 2005

On April 18 Foon Sham installed his sculpture Vascular Form #3 on Brock Commons. Foon is known for his finely crafted, complex, large-scale wood sculptures. In Vascular Form #3 he uses his study of joinery to stack rectangular wood blocks into a tubular form. The viewer is visually engaged by both the meticulous craftsmanship and the staccato rhythm made by the individual blocks. Art historian Sarah Tanguy has written, “Foon Sham has passionately pursued his love of materials in his intricate wood sculptures, from their overall composition to how each component fits together.” As for the content of the work, she states, “In his deepening study of structure and the realization of a personal language, his sculptures have become more architectural in their reference to building as well as to the human body and the environment.”

About the Artist:
Foon Sham holds a B.F.A. from California College of Arts and Crafts and an M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University. His works have been exhibited nationally in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., as well as internationally in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden. Currently, he is a professor of art at the University of Maryland.

Artist’s Statement:
I love to stack and build with wood blocks to create visually interesting forms that are meaningful to me; vessels and undulating forms are my favorites. In my larger-scale works, I like the idea that people can interact with my work by walking through or being enclosed by it. My childhood memory of being inside a blanket and being able to peep outside is very much recreated inside Vascular Form #3.

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Lucy Slivinski (Chicago, IL)
Grace, 2006

steel with automobile taillights
Installed Spring 2006 between Jarman Hall and the Chichester Science Center

Lucy Slivinski worked tirelessly on site at Longwood for nearly two weeks to create her latest sculpture, Grace. The large-scale tree form constructed from steel and automobile taillights is located between Jarman and the new science building.

Well known nationally for her sculptures that combine recycled elements to create naturalistic forms, Slivinski used salvaged angle iron frames welded together to form a “tree trunk” for Grace. She completed the tree form with limbs made of a woven wire mesh constructed by weaving and welding steel 3/8”-1/4” wire and salvaged automobile taillights. During the course of the day the ever-changing natural light illuminates the translucent red taillights, giving the piece color and intensity. Slivinski intends for the work to inspire a dialogue amongst the campus community about “nature verses industry.” Slivinski states, “The contrast produced by using discarded industrial materials in an organic form such as a tree conjures many questions. Does nature support industry? Does industry support nature?”

Margaret Hawkins, an art critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote about Slivinski, “The potential beauty of junk has become an axiom in art, and its worth is doubled when we add in the value of recycling. Lucy Slivinski is one of these artists who uses industrial material, at least some of which has been thrown away, to create objects which appear oddly natural. . . . She means to draw a parallel between the choppy progress of our society and its more graceful counterpart in nature. While an insect leaves behind a beautifully fitted shell that soon turns to dust, factories throw off heaps of rusty metal. Slivinski finds her industrial materials lovely, though, and through her eyes so can we.”

About the Artist:
Lucy Slivinski received her master of fine arts degree in fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) and her bachelor of fine arts from Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, Illinois). Her work has been exhibited at Navy Pier, Grant Park, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum in Chicago as well as at Albion College (Michigan), Beloit College (Wisconsin), San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Illinois State Museum, among many others. She is represented by Phyllis Kind Gallery (New York, New York).

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Sam Spiczka (Sauk Rapids, MN)
Hephaestus Fallen, 2005

Exhibited 2010-2012 near Dorril Dining Hall.

A public lecture was presented on April 21, 2010 at 6 p.m. in Hiner Auditorium.

Inspired by natural bone forms, rural technology, and geometric structure, Sam Spiczka has produced an unsettling body of work that is both modern and intensely primal, public yet deeply personal. Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Spiczka became captivated by metal early on through the experience of working at his family’s welding shop. Though he briefly studied art and philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, his true education has come from nature, the example of past sculptors, and the craftsmanship of his father.  
About the Artist:
Sam Spiczka's award-winning sculptures have been exhibited nationally – including at DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Rochester Art Center, and Franconia Sculpture Park – and can be found in many public and private collections.  In 2008, Spiczka was profiled in the magazine Art in America :  “A very young sculptor – Spiczka is barely 30 – has become a bolder and more richly expressive artist.  His best work is still ahead.”

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Wayne Trapp (Vilas, North Carolina)
Back from Kyoto: A Visual Haiku (2010)
COR-TEN Steel, 6 x 10 x 16 feet

Lecture: Wednesday October 27, 6 p.m., Bedford Hall Auditorium

Modeled after the Japanese character for “exhilaration", the piece is inspired by Trapp’s study of calligraphy during his time in Japan.

About the Artist: Sculptor Wayne Trapp works in stone and steel, creating outdoor pieces for corporations and private clients. Based in North Carolina, he is known for his commissioned works throughout the United States, as well as Puerto Rico, Germany and England.

Pictured (left to right): Davis Whitfield and Artist Wayne Trapp in front of Back from Kyoto: A Visual Haiku.

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Sandy Willcox (Farmville, VA)
Caduceus and Bench

Installed July 2004 east of the Greenwood Library

During the summer of 2004 artist Sandy Willcox (Farmville, VA) placed two works on Brock Commons. One, Caduceus, is a wonderfully lyric plant-inspired form whose sinuous lines are punctuated with colorful leaf shapes. The other, a bench, is equally playful with stalk and leaf forms sprouting from the back. Both pieces are made from steel, rebar, and recycled plastic.

Sandy says: “In 1987, my husband, David Lewis, and our daughter, Ellen, and I moved to Farmville from Greenville, North Carolina. Before that, I received a BA in printmaking from East Carolina University and worked as a printer/collaborator for Harvey Littleton in North Carolina and Ann Wolff in Sweden. Our son, Jon, was born in Farmville. David and I maintain our drawing, painting and sculpture studios at our home in town and are active volunteers in the community, especially at the LCVA, FACES, and the library.”

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Joyce Audy Zarins (Amesbury, MA)
Strobus, 2003

painted steel
Installed Fall 2006 near Greenwood Library

Joyce Audy Zarins’ Strobus takes form as a monumental red pine cone made of steel. Its delicate curve and careful balance exquisitely capture the elegant construction of a real pine cone. The name “Strobus” is descriptive, as in Pinus strobus, the scientific name for white pine. This piece is in response to artists creating monumental sculptures of man-made objects and an example of Zarins’ deep-seated belief in environmental preservation. Nicole Matthews ’06 stated upon selecting Strobus for the Brock Commons Sculpture Program, “Strobus can be seen in many different ways, and it really incorporates nature and the surrounding campus. This sculpture is different when viewed from different angles. People can be inspired from it.”

About the Artist:
Zarins received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work has been shown in more than 70 exhibitions in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Maine, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Florida, and Rhode Island. Strobus was exhibited in the 2003 Navy Pier exhibition in Chicago. Zarins is also an author and illustrator for numerous children’s books related to the natural world, mythology, and human experience.

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Longwood Center for the Visual Arts 129 North Main Street Farmville VA 23901 434 395 2206