Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition
Twentieth Anniversary Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

May 1, 1997 - February 28, 1998

Juror: Jackie Brookner

Curator: Hank T. Foreman

Juror's Statement

Jackie Brookner

Jackie Brookner

In today's world with its instant global communication, its surfeit of moving images, and fast paced MTV cuts, sculpture seems a sluggish, even stubborn art form. In its stillness, not quite of this time.

The task of jurying the Eleventh Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition has given me the opportunity to ask again what sculpture has to offer us today, what can it mean to its makers and to its audiences, and to ask if indeed sculpture still has possibilities that it uniquely can fulfill.

Most obviously, sculpture is physical. It exists in the same place that we humans do and like us, must obey the laws of gravity. In this way - it is grounded. Why is this important, or even desirable when so many of us today seem to prefer illusion and the ungrounded, the possibility of tickling our brains into believing in the ungravitiational world of virtual reality where we can move about at will, through spaces and even solids, unimpeded by the limitations of our physical bodies?

Sculpture endures these limitations and beings us back to our bodies. It celebrates the spaces that surround us and the spaces within us. It reminds us that we stand on the ground, that we walk with our legs, that we feel touch through our skin, that we track constant shifts of light with our eyes, and that with every breath and step our visual field changes, however slightly. With attention, we can feel how sculpture works on us through our own kinesthetic sense - how small muscular movements empathetically respond to what we see, creating feelings of tension, relaxation, compression, expansion, sadness and joy. Whether abstract or carrying an image, sculpture communicates to us primarily through the kinesthetic sense. Be it the texture or density of the materials, the weightlessness of lines or the heaves of masses, a soft quiet play of light or quickened syncopated rhythms - these awaken empathic responses in our bodies and help us create meaning from what we perceive. In stimulating our bodies, sculpture stimulates our souls.

While it shares many of these qualities with dance, sculpture's stillness allows for quiet, out of time, contemplation. Slow paced, perhaps archaic - sculpture is needed today, perhaps more than ever. In evidence, an anecdote - a telephone salesman called offering me a free service - no dial calling - where you need only speak the name of the person you wish to call and the call with be connected. I told him no thank you, I like dialing, and fear for our fingers - that they may one day atrophy from lack of use.

Martin and Doris Rosen are to be gratefully thanked for creating the opportunity for so many sculptors to exhibit their work and for so many people to experience this work in the spacious setting of Appalachian State University.
Jackie Brookner

Curator's Statement

It has often been propsed that the most important aspect of a gallery, visual art center, or museum is the experience of the actual art object or event - not a virtual experience, but rather a pilgrimage to the "real thing." Walter Benjamin, in his essay entitled The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, laments the loss of visiting real works, in real spaces dedicated to them. Benjamin ponders the "aura" of an artwork and the contemplative nature of experiencing it firsthand.

In this age of virtual realities, virtual museums, and art on-line, Benjamin's concern surrounding the quality of experiencing art through reproduction seems even more warranted. There are issues of control: who decides what images are reproduced and distributed? There are issues of context: who decides how the experience around the artwork is designed - therefore affecting the viewers psychological and intellectual experience? However, just as there are negative aspects of this technological development, there are also positive aspects of the same issues - the increased availability of artworks due to the reduction of economic, and geographic stumbling blocks leading this list.

For centuries the relationship between people and actual art has been controlled by the places that own the work. Now works from collections previously unreachable by large portions of the population are available on-line. So while the risk of control is still very real, is it more of an issue than the manner in which the original collections were developed and presented? Is the risk of control really that great in a communicative medium where anarchy and diversity underlie much of its operation? If the issues of control and context (while recognized as important concerns) are debatable, and do not offer the most serious limitations to the experience of "non-real" art, what does?

The immediate answer to this question is quite nebulous - the limitation is that you are not experiencing the "real thing." This means that answers really lie in the reverse of our question of limitation; what does viewing actual artworks give us that other methods of viewing do not provide? In our case, more specifically, what does viewing outdoor sculpture in person give us that seeing it reproduced might not provide? An initial response would be the sheer physicality of the artwork and the site. While this sounds vague, it leads one to investigate the complex issues that merge to create the three dimensional work and site. Each work has its own shape, size, weight, materials, textures, colors, and the topographical and emotive qualities of its environment vary by site - these even vary by season, weather and time of day.

All of these obvious, but often overlooked, details merge together to provide us with a specific interpretation of a work at a specific time. Another feature of this physicality is the anthropomorphic and intellectual relationship which is developed, by degrees, as one moves around, and sometimes through, sculpture. The importance of this ritual can not be discounted. For it is in this activity that the contextual connections blend with the physical responses of the human body in relation to the work. It is this active occupation of the same space and time that offers an important foundation for relating to sculpture.

The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, by its design, adds additional layers to this personal experience. The works are made public by their placement in the landscape, and for one year they become part of the daily life of the University community. This affords people the unique opportunity to experience the work through changing environmental, psychological and intellectual periods. The relationship with the works, enabled through their accessibility, becomes deeper because it is viewed through the changing context of people's lives

Appalachian State University is fortunate to participate in a program like the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Over the years, it has enhanced the cultural climate of the University community, and offered students, faculty, staff, and visitors a unique opportunity to strengthen their personal relationship with art. It is extremely fitting that the host for this program is a university whose mission is to prepare people to meet their creative and intellectual potential. This exhibition invites participants to stretch these faculties as they relate the works to their lives and the world around them.
Hank T. Foreman
Director & Chief Curator
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

About the Curator

Hank Foreman serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as Director and Chief Curator of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts for Appalachian State University. He obtained his M.A. in Art Education from Appalachian, having completed undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with a concentration in Painting and Sculpture. His duties include the administrative responsibilities for An Appalachian Summer Festival, the Performing Arts Series, Farthing Auditorium and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.

During his tenure at Appalachian State, Foreman has taken part in the organization of numerous exhibitions, including the associated lectures, symposia, and publications. He has worked closely with the university's Department of Art, and a wide variety of other campus and community groups, to make gallery resources available to all. One of his earliest exhibitions at Appalachian, Views From Ground Level: Art and Ecology in the Late Nineties, brought internationally acclaimed artists, historians, and critics to the campus and received national attention.

Foreman is also an exhibiting studio artist, and participates in regional and national conferences as a presenter and panelist.

Credits / Acknowledgements

For eleven years now, the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition has provided the Appalachian State University family, residents of the regions, and visitors to Northwestern North Carolina with an invaluable experience: the opportunity to explore contemporary sculpture in a setting which facilitates the development of their personal relationship with art. With each passing year, the Rosen program has grown in professional stature, and has become an increasingly integral part of the Appalachian State University community. This exciting growth and development owes much to those whose vision shaped a path for the future.

Martin and Doris Rosen are among those visionaries, and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest gratitude for their support. A generous annual gift from Martin and Doris Rosen makes the sculpture competition and exhibition possible. However, my gratitude is extended especially for their generous gift of spirit; a spirit which allows them to be supportive of a diverse group of jurors, artists and artworks. The competition which bears their name can often include artists whose ideas, from context to construction, might not align with their own views of art. This stamina and faith illustrates a strong respect for artists and art. I thank them for their vision and their example.

On behalf of An Appalachian Summer Festival, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Catherine J. Smith Gallery, I wish to thank all of the artists who participated in this year's competition and congratulate those chosen for the exhibition. I would also like to thank our juror, Jackie Brookner, for facing the challenge of choosing ten works out of such a diverse and strong group. Indeed, it is the juror whose holistic vision of the work shapes the character of each exhibition.

I wish to thank my colleagues in the Office of Cultural Affairs; Perry Mixter, Director; Gil Morgenstern, Artistic Director for An Appalachian Summer; Sali Gill-Johnson, General Manger; Sara Heustess, Box Office Manager for Farthing Auditorium; Greg Williams, Technical Director for Farthing Auditorium; Jim Sigmon, Assistant Technical Director for Farthing Auditorium; Denise Weissberg, Director of Marketing and Public Relations; Elizabeth Loflin, Assistant Director of Marketing and Public Relations; Sandra Black, Fiscal Officer; and Allyson Duncan, Office Manager. I would also like to thank the Art Department faculty and staff; Dr. Clyde Robbins Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Physical Plant Operations; Larry Bordeaux, Director of Facility Support Services; Jim Bryan, Grounds Supervisor; and Dr. Evan Row, Safety Officer.

In closing, my thanks to the many who make this exhibition possible, including the Art 4012 - Exhibition Practicum students and Michael Fanizza for this excellent catalogue design. Also thanks to Michael Siede and Troy Tuttle of the Technology Department for their assistance with the photography. Thanks to Gallery Interns Leslie Snipes and Ryan Bumgarner for their contributions to the summer program. Special thanks to Kim McDade, Assistant to the Director for the Catherine J. Smith Gallery, for her dedication, contribution and friendship.

Hank T. Foreman

Exhibits 1 - 10 of 10

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care
Forged Aluminum

R.F. Buckley

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)
Rosen Award 1st Place

Award Winner
African Crucifix

African Crucifix
Bronze

Ken Smith

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

Bodacious

Bodacious
Welded Steel

Teresa Young

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

Estelle

Estelle
White Oak

Matthew S. Newman

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

Falline Flora

Falline Flora
Steel

Don Creech

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

Glissand

Glissand
Steel and Wood

Jerry Monteith

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

Kayak

Kayak
Steel

Thomas McDonald

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

SNY 945 GA

SNY 945 GA
Steel and Epoxy

J. Zac Ward

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

Throne for Martin Luther King, Jr.

Throne for Martin Luther King, Jr.
Steel and Wood

Ted Garner

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

Two by Two

Two by Two
Reinforced Cement

William Donnan

11th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (1997-1998)

Exhibits 1 - 10 of 10

Legend: Award Winner- Award Winner