Next year USM will celebrate its centennial. The Centennial Celebration will have a number of interesting events associated with it. One thing that is being spearheaded by the College of Arts and Letters is an outdoor sculpture competition. Right now it is just in the planning stages, but it looks like it will happen. Faculty and staff from the College of the Arts and our Department will facilitate the competition, selection, and installation of four to six works. They will be installed in 2010 and would stay on campus for two years. There is hope that this would not be a one time event and that it will act as model for future competitions on campus and also around the town. These large scale outdoor works would represent a variety of styles and mediums and hopefully be draw for visitors.
It is my opinion that more sculpture on campus could be nothing but good for our 3D area. I am hoping that we might also get some of the artists to do lectures and maybe workshops. We are planning to have a number of opportunities for sculpture students to participate in installations or help out in other events.
Many, many colleges and universities across the nation have regular outdoor exhibitions and I think it’s about time we did as well. Some of us, me just a bit and James Davis a lot, have experience in outdoor shows and would encourage all you to consider how the out-of-doors may be considered a context for your work. One great example of a preeminent national exhibition is the Rosen Show. It is considered “the best” by outdoor artists. You should check it out; James has been in it- http://www.rosensculpture.org/
Making work suitable for outdoor exhibition is no easy task, but, in my opinion, very worth the effort. Typically these shows can have from $500 to $2000 stipends, for delivery of work, and some have even bigger awards (if you win one). Sculptures must be available from one to two years and must be made of durable, weather resistant materials, able to withstand high winds, inclement weather and be vandal proof as well as safe! Talk about a lot of prerequisites! To top it off the work has to be interesting, challenging and well made. These are some things to consider when you head into your next work. Conquer all these tasks and you may be able to compete in the exciting world of out door exhibitions.
Images on this page- James Davis' work, This is Something We Had to go Through. Steel and Cast Iron, 7' x 14' x 1'.
All images from "The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition".