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

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

May 1, 2000 - February 28, 2001

Juror: Kathryn Hixon

Curator: Hank T. Foreman

Juror's Statement

As a way to share my experience as juror of the Rosen Sculpture Competition at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, I offer the following travelogue: I had never been to this part of the country before, and took the opportunity as a chance to explore the surrounding landscape. Hank had suggested I visit Linville Falls, so I got a map and some directions and headed off. Following the signs off of 105, I found the parking lot, and joined some scattered tourists to several overlooks from which we gazed on the effects of time and gravity that had produced so spectacular a waterfall. Scrambling up to get the best view I noticed some visitors, tiny from my vantage point, down at the bottom of the gorge. I wanted to experience the view from down below. I drove in the direction I thought I should go, got lost, turned around, went back past the parking lot to a ranger hut. Though directions were offered as to how to get to the bottom of the gorge, another possibility was suggested: a five-mile ride up the ridge to get an even more spectacular view: this time of the entire Linville Gorge. I drove up the winding, increasingly precarious roads up to the described spot: and was not disappointed. From Wiseman's View, I scanned the great wilderness, musing on the vastness of geologic time, on the brilliance of the mountain wildflowers, and even on a practical bent that seems very American: to let the wilderness that is the most resistant to human cultivation remain so, then to shift our relationship with nature from mastery to calm appreciation: from exploitation to tourism.

I had recently been to the 99th floor of the Sears Tower in Chicago, where I live, and had luxuriated in the amazing view from up there, of the grids of city lights glittering into infinity. But my knowledge of the streets below, of negotiating the microcosm of urban neighborhoods with their specific unique trials and tribulations, are what made that generalizing view so extraordinary. So I still wanted to get to the bottom of Linville Gorge.

I followed the ranger's directions, found the Blue Ridge Parkway (and instantly understood both its historical and contemporary uniqueness), followed the signs to the parking lot and ranger station. I hiked along what seemed somehow familiar trails, then backtracked, looked at the user-friendly park map, and found the way down to the river. This plunge down the gorge was all specifics, of negotiating twisted roots and dodging branches. There were no great vistas here, just dirt and trees and an occasional slithering snake. When I finally reached the river no one was around, and I felt relieved to stick my feet into the rushing water which reflected the sun in glittering arrays. Then I looked up to the overlook points and saw my fellow tourists, tiny from my vantage point far below.

I realized, of course, that from my first stop, if I had just explored in another direction, interpreting the park signs in different ways, I could have found the way down into the gorge in a few minutes.

Instead, I made a wide detour, intersected with institutional proclivities and personal territories, and ended up with a meandering but highly satisfying set of experiences. I had my own goals, waylaid by others' wishes, then set again on my own desires.

My misshapen hiking trip is like sculpture, which is a three dimensional expression of subjective experience. Sculpture meanders through the world with its own agenda, but gets sidetracked with unpredictable experiences that temper its form. It offers grand vistas of sweeping gesture, or it stands separately, a lone monolith gathering up into own stalwart physicality or hunkering down to become one with its earthbound nature. Sculpture is form and composition, like rocks; and it is structure, like geology. In its assertive presence, it sometimes seems timeless. But it also embodies a social history, as do the highways and ranger stations, of humans toiling against the elements to shape a way for themselves through a natural chaos. Sculpture can be antagonistic, a way to raise up individual expression in the face of overwhelming conformity, and it can be an acquiescence, a succumbing to organic forces that will always triumph over small petty concerns.

Sculpture is a tool. It is practical, like a parking garage or a picnic table, offering a place in which to sit, converse, and meditate. Sculpture is a desire to belong, to conform, to represent its environment even if it is through opposition, adding unnatural details to point out the regular and the everyday. And sculpture can be both detail and shelter, a graceful eye-pleasing ornament or a comforting warm place of safety. Occupying a space between architecture - representing our need to separate and protect ourselves from the unknown - and nature - the unknown with which we are always trying to reconcile - sculpture offers a creative potential through which we can understand our ever-shifting position in the world.

I thank all of the entrants in the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition for sharing their sculptural experiences with me, and Martin and Doris Rosen for making this experience possible. Seeing the ten finalists' works on site on the grounds of Appalachian State University was a revelation of sculptural possibility, and a testament to the continued potential of the competition. Hank Foreman is to be continually lauded for his commitment to sculptural risk-taking. I especially thank Amy Gerhauser for giving a place, around a tree, in which I could contemplate my experience of ASU and the Linville Gorge.
Kathryn Hixon

Curator's Statement

On behalf of the Catherine J. Smith Gallery, An Appalachian Summer Festival, and Appalachian State University, it is a great pleasure to present the 14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition. Each new year brings us ten works to excite, stimulate, entertain, and challenge us. Some works, while completely contemporary in approach, possess the ability to speak in a language that emotionally and aesthetically link us to sculptured traditions with which we are familiar. Other works, while drawing on these same traditions, present themselves in ways that at first seem like a different language entirely. It is this range of investigation and creation that make this exhibition exciting, stimulating, entertaining, and challenging.

Every year the Rosen Juror is faced with hundreds of works, and it is the juror's task to narrow this number to ten. These ten works will reflect the juror's interpretation of what is going on in the world of contemporary sculpture, and their belief that the ten works chosen reflect at the highest possible level the dynamic, intelligent investigation of experiencing art in three-dimensionality. It speaks highly for this competition, the Festival, the University, the community, and the patrons that sculptors have a place where the diversity of research is understood to be important for artists and viewers. This year we have ten very different approaches to sculpture and each work has different insights to share.

It is impossible in this space for me to do justive to all the concepts and methods involved with this year's sculptures. However, I would like to briefly share some core thoughts about the ten works selected. These thoughts are only meant to provide impetus for your own investigation and I am sure that you will learn much about the works and even yourself.

After viewing all of these works, and participating in a dialogue with each piece, we are drawn to even larger questions. What is contemporary sculpture? Are artists approaching the medium of sculpture from varied points? If so, what seem to be some predominant concerns? What role does the artist expect the viewer to play in experiencing the work? What kinds of presentations seem to immediately "make sense?" What works challenge your concept of sculpture? What biases do you bring to the dialogue?

These are important, challenging, and interesting questions. Questions that a competition and exhibition like the Rosen hope to inspire. We hope that you enjoy your experience with these ten new works and we invite you to live and dialogue with them throughout the next year. I congratulate the ten artists included in this year's exhibit, the juror, Doris and Martin Rosen, and Appalachian State University for providing us with the opportunity to learn about contemporary sculpture and ourselves.
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

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 artist who participated in this year's competition and congratulate those chosen for the exhibition. Each yar the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Martin and Doris Rosen. The Rosens are tireless supporters of the arts, and over the years have given so much of themselves to ensure that the arts became a more integral part of our community. Their excitement and dedication serve as both inspiration and role model. I would like to thank our juror, Kathryn Hixson, for her dedication and professionalism during the completion of her difficult task. I wish to thank my colleagues in the Office of Cultural Affairs, my colleagues in the Art Department, and the students who participated in the installations. Special thanks to our designer - Michael Fanizza, photographer - Troy Tuttle, Assistant to the Gallery Director - Kim Johnson, the folks at Boone Crane, and our interns Donna Greer and Sarah Parker. A heartfelt thanks to Jim Bryan - Grounds Superintendent, and to Evan Rowe - Safety Officer. We also extend our thanks to the entire Grounds Department of the Appalachian State University Physical Plant. There cooperation and expertise continues to make our campus a beautiful venue for outdoor sculpture.

Hank T. Foreman, Director & Curator
Catherine J. Smith Gallery

Exhibits 1 - 10 of 10

Sheltering Spiral II

Sheltering Spiral II
Steel, Found Limbs, Fabric, and Shellac

Amy Gerhauser

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)
Rosen Award 1st Place

Award Winner
FS.949

FS.949
Galvanized Steel

Rudy Rudisill

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

Hammered

Hammered
Steel and Concrete

Matthew Harbstreit

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

King Fit

King Fit
Painted Steel

Shaun Cassidy

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

Listening Benches

Listening Benches
Cast Concrete

Nitin Jayaswal

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

Permanent Collection
LVOB

LVOB
Paint Pigments and Earth

Jean-Paul Bourdier

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

My Father's Lintel

My Father's Lintel
Terracotta and Granite

J. Paul Sires

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

Poriferaserrata

Poriferaserrata
Steel and Concrete

Don Creech

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

Purple Spire

Purple Spire
Painted Fiberglass and Steel

Mike Callahan

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

Reclining Figure

Reclining Figure
Steel

Bill Anderson

14th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition (2000-2001)

Exhibits 1 - 10 of 10

Legend: Award Winner- Award Winner Permanent Collection- Permanent Collection