Art installations ranging from abstract forms and totem poles to flower bouquets and trumpeters made their way to Vermillion in early August.
Sculptures like Anthony Guntren’s Portal and Osamede Obazee’s Big Easy are just a few of the new sculptures representing the diversity sculpture has to offer.
Before students returned for the new semester, 11 sculptures — six on campus and five downtown — were installed and leased out by their artists. The sculptures have found their new home as features in the Sioux Falls-originated SculptureWalk.
Christopher Meyer, a SculptureWalk committee member who teaches sculpture classes at USD, aided the process of bringing the new sculptures to downtown.
USD works with the city of Vermillion to organize the sculptures tenures — an average of two years. Each sculpture is on a rotation and moves through SculptureWalk satellite communities every two years. Committee members vote on sculptures based on a variety of attributes including physical characteristics and overall interaction.
“[The voting process] is different for all of us,” Meyers said. Some have an art background, some do not, so people’s aesthetics are wide-ranging. Everyone has a different experience which is welcome and kind of the point of public sculpture.”
Sculptures in SculptureWalk have featured artists from South Dakota, as well as many other artists.
“We try to have a variety of artists and sites. We are really looking for any interaction with the sculpture. Hopefully, students will be thoughtful enough to learn more about the pieces,” Meyer said.
Natalie Higgason, a graduate student, is one of the students who helped Meyer place the sculptures.
“I really like to work hands-on and I feel like sculpture is more interactive, it can be something you can touch and hold or a performance where you can portray something you want to say to people in a way that you can not put on paper,” Higgason said.
At the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts, student sculptures are featured in the Sculpture Garden. Students of all majors are encouraged to experience Sculpture Culture, a student organization focused on sculpture that meets in Room 171 of the Fine Arts building at 5:00 on Tuesdays, Meyer said.