Art gives Plaza new look

Aug 262002
Authors: Patrick Crossland

They’ve been standing in the plaza since August. They will remain there for another two years. At least eight feet tall and archaic in appearance, Sculpterscape’s latest addition was unveiled late this summer.

“Pillars Through Time” is a series of five pillars created by Boulder artist Sue Quinlan and is located in the plaza outside the Morgan Library.

“It’s interesting, I’ve spent a little time looking at it,” said Sam Mitchell, a technician at the library. “There are always neat little details that pop out when you look at it.”

“Pillars Through Time” is the latest installment to a program called “Sculpturescape,” biennial creations of art done by professional artists from around the nation. New works will be installed every two years at various locations around campus.

Previous to the addition of “Pillars Through Time,” two wood sculptures, “Passage” and “Daedalus,” were installed west of the Lory Student Center and southeast of Ammons Hall.

Each sculpture created for this program carries a unique symbolism and aims to provide both educational and aesthetic benefits.

“It’s always nice to have artwork around; something different to look at,” said Julie Young a first year PHD student of Fishery and Wildlife Biology.

Quinlan hopes to convey a message of diversity while educating her audience about the benefits of a multicultural community.

“The diversity of our culture in the United States is wonderful, and we can enjoy other cultures and learn from them,” said Quinlan. “We’re still one society and we can enjoy other aspects of it.”

Through her work, Quinlan also hopes to provoke thought and educate her audience to cultivate a greater since of tolerance. In her artist statement, she says, “One of my greatest goals as an artist is to make the observer think. Our world is rapidly changing today, and many of my works are designed to expose the viewer to new ideas and challenge old patterns.”

Though “Pillars Through Time” took six months to create, the project began with studying and researching at libraries to accurately depict the many cultures seen in the pillars.

Quinlan, 55, has been an artist for 15 years, earning a degree in painting, drawing and sculpture. A painter who utilized multicultural themes into her work for 10 years prior to her work as a sculptor, Quinlan incorporates various aspects of many cultures into her work today. She wanted “Pillars Through Time” to have an archaic feel, as though “someone had just dug it up.”

As Quinlan explains, being an artist takes more than just hard work and talent — it takes support and family as well.

Her work as an artist is a team effort. Her family either contributes to her work through their support or input through their experience.

“My husband is in construction, so he is someone I can borrow ideas off of,” Quinlan said.

The support she receives from her family is the cornerstone to her creative self and the capstone to her success, Quinlan says.

“It really helps to have a supportive partner and family,” she said. “My kids are always saying, ‘keep it up, Mom.'”

Three other artists have contributed work to the latest exhibition and each sculpture is on a two-year loan from the artist. After the two-year duration, the sculptures are removed and returned to their creator. No student fees are used to pay for the Sculpturescape program.

For more information about sculpturescape, long onto the Web site at:

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