Inspiring art displayed for those who seek it

By Jake Saunder

The creation of art is a delicate work that is of great interest to many and is found of little value to others. Nevertheless, art needs to be appreciated.

On campus, there is a collection of fine art pieces to observe; However, students may see the art in vague context and consequently the art goes largely unnoticed.

To first appreciate, one must begin a journey of understanding the complexities of the piece in subject. One piece of great note, “Here,” stands stoically between Morris Library and Wham; University Museum director Dona Bachman said the piece represents health issues the artist was dealing with at the time.


“(“Here” artist) Nicholas Vergette was a professor of art at the University from 1960 to 1974 and it took him three years to complete the work, which he said depicted the various stages of cancer, which he was fighting at the time,” she said.

The work is of a unified separation in 11 parts. The pieces range in heights, depicting these aforementioned stages, and is a construct of ceramic manipulation.

“(Vergette) passed away in 1974, just a couple of months after finishing the work,” Bachman said.

“Here” remains a distinctive landmark, but its significance may be lost on those who don’t know of Vergette’s contributions to art.

But while students may pass by “Here” on their way to class other pieces not seen as often reside in the Sculpture Garden, located behind Faner Hall, as well as the adjacent Kumakura Garden, another rarely known and pleasant site.

“There are eight sculptures in the sculpture garden, and they were designed by a number of different past professors and artists,” Bachman said. “And of course, a number of them would be too large for any type of space that we would have inside the museum so they were assigned to be outdoors.”

Among the sculptures in the garden stands “Starwalk,” a focal point of welded bronze crafted by the renowned artist Richard Hunt. It is at times a gleaming metallic hue of unique color, a bronze of green and blue and overall dark. The work appears as if a celestial body took bipedal form and began its staggered stride.


“The sculptures are not in plain view like they should be,” Brian McManaman, a junior from Sandoval studying English, said. “They are all in really shaded areas, which I guess could be good for relaxing and to appreciate it, but it’s not like they are in front of everybody to be seen, which is, I’m assuming, the sculptures are there for.”

While McManaman has seen “Here” he only recently noticed the Sculpture Garden. However, as with most students, is subject to time constraints and has not had the opportunities to assess on subject to another, nor even the time to attempt to find the certain pieces tucked away. McManaman suggested the university find more prominent places for these sculptures.

“If anything, I think the perfect place for things would be by the stadium or the arena, because we’re Salukis, why would you hide the Saluki statutes, people might even want to take pictures with them, but nobody even knows they’re there,” said Haymon.

The University Museum itself is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and will be having a public reception for four new exhibits on Friday, Nov. 15, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Though the outdoor exhibits are always around for view, one may simply have to search for the greatness in shadowy bends.