New sculptures come to Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on August 21, 2019 with No Comments

Outdoor sculpture at Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest, “Don’t worry, the world’s not flat!” by Jason

Three new outdoor sculptures have been placed on the grounds of Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest. Gabis Executive Director Stephanie Blackstock, said the sculptures allow guests to engage with their natural surroundings in a new way.

“Outdoor sculptures have been known to bring people feelings of peace and inner joy,” Blackstock said. “They allow viewers the opportunity to experience nature at a much deeper level.”

Outdoor sculpture at Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest, “Homage” by Rich Kiebdaj

“In the short time that the sculptures have been at the arboretum, the response has been very positive,” said Judy Jacobi, assistant vice chancellor of University Art Collections and Special Programs at Purdue Northwest. “Their beauty compliments Gabis’s stunning natural environment and also promotes great conversation among visitors.”

Outdoor sculpture at Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest, “Woman with a Hat” by Terry Karpowicz

The three sculptures feature the work of noted area artists. One is a gift to Purdue University Northwest. The two others are on-loan to the university by the artists and will be displayed at the arboretum for two years.

“Homage” is dedicated to world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. It is a swirling group of cellos, but also a five foot in diameter yo-yo. Sculptor Rich Kiebdaj captures both the exuberant persona of the gifted musician and the joy of the colorfully featured spinning yo-yo. Blackstock said this piece was selected for its musical connection and was installed near the arboretum’s outdoor concert venue.

“Woman with a Hat” is a classically modernist sculpture of bronze and stone. Both are natural materials favored by sculptor Terry Karpowicz. His bold placement of the stone elicits surprise with a touch of humor. The work pays tribute to Pablo Picasso, who juxtaposed materials with witty spontaneity. The work was installed in the Hitz Family Rose Garden to encourage creativity that matches the garden’s Scrabble board design.

“Don’t worry, the world’s not flat!” is a quirky piece by young artist Jason Hawke. It features colorful characters scrambling up a circular form. It’s ironic in that the black form does not appear to be flat, but spurs individual curiosity and reflection. A recent observer commented on the piece saying it made him cast his worries aside each day he passed it. Blackstock said placing the work against a beautiful wooded backdrop enables visitors to revel in the work’s calming effect.

Customized tours for adults and children, free of charge, can be arranged by appointment through the Purdue University Northwest Arts Collections office at 219-785-5719 or ebernel@pnw.edu.


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