Students, faculty and staff are invited to visit the PAHB grounds, on the side facing Lot 8, on August 13 to witness the installation of eight large “earth cast” half-arches that will be set into the ground to create a public gathering space, provisionally entitled “Forum.” The half-arches are major pieces of this public art project, designed and produced by renowned artist Thomas Sayre. Final landscaping and a dedication of the artwork will take place in the fall.
“Rough, irregular, the color of the land we walk upon, the arches create a composition reminiscent of classic academic cloisters where light and shadow will dance across the highly animated, earthcast surfaces,” says the artist.
Please note that this installation will require the closure of Hilltop Road in this area of the campus all day on August 13 (and possibly on August 14), however, access to Lot 8 will not be impacted. Any deliveries to this part of campus during the installation should use the paved thoroughfare between ITE and Sherman Hall.
The Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI), was signed into law last year, and UMBC agreed to pursue a pilot public art project under this initiative on the PAHB. Thomas Sayre was selected following a national search conducted by UMBC in partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council. The selection committee voted Sayre’s concept as the most reflective of UMBC’s vision of a public art installation that invites community engagement, reflects the passage of time, and embraces the values and culture of UMBC.
Thomas Sayre has designed and built public art projects throughout the world and has participated in design teams for civic, educational and museum buildings. Along with architect Steve Schuster, Sayre is a founding principal in the multi-disciplinary design firm Clearscapes, based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sayre believes that art will only work when disparate opinions come together through collaboration to form a coherent vision.
The selection committee included Vice President for Administration and Finance Lynne Schaefer, University Architect Joseph Rexing, Sr. Project Manager Mickey Miller (University of Maryland, Baltimore), Alex Castro and Jan Goldstein (Maryland Commission on Public Art), Associate Professor Helen Burgess (English), Associate Professor Preminda Jacob (visual arts), Professor Timothy Nohe (visual arts, CIRCA director), Associate Professor Sandy Parker (geography and environmental systems), Professor Phyllis Robinson (biological sciences), Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Yvette Mozie-Ross, Associate Professor Liz Walton (dance) and architect Cliff Gayley (William Rawn Associates).