COLUMBUS, GA — Columbus State University is adding to the public art environment in Uptown Columbus by installing a newly commissioned, site-specific, installation inside and outside Frank Brown Hall.
The public is invited to an unveiling of the artwork on Wednesday Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. in front of Brown Hall at the 12th Street entrance to the building between Broadway and Front Street in downtown Columbus.
The art installation is being created by Pard Morrison, a Colorado-based artist with exhibitions in Singapore, Switzerland, Chicago, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Dallas, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Marfa, and Denver. His work is in the collections of the Lannan Foundation, the Frederick R Weisman Art Foundation, the Colorado State University Art Museum, the University of Wyoming Art Museum, and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. Morrison is represented by Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe N.M., which collaborated on the installation.
A committee selected Morrison after reviewing his work and evaluating how his painterly, geometric sculptures would fit in and around Brown Hall, and add to the art environment in downtown Columbus. Morrison made the proposal for a site-specific work after his vistit to Columbus in April of this year. Committee members included Hannah Israel, gallery director and professor of art at Columbus State University; Dr. Jonathan F. Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of American Art at the Columbus Museum; and Will Barnes of Barnes Gibson Partners Architects, which designed the building. The project is funded entirely with private donations from CSU supporters and public art lovers who wish to remain anonymous.
“Public art on campus enhances our educational experiences, deepens our sense of place, stimulates our thinking, and transforms the places where we live, work, and study,” Israel said. “Having Pard Morrison’s work at the Frank Brown building will trigger reflections, create new dynamics and spur creative dialogues.”
Morrison is preparing six aluminum columns coated with multi-colored fired pigment that will be installed in front of Brown Hall on 12th Street, inside the glass lobby, and into the plaza just south of the building. He is naming the installation “Fall Line,” and will provide some interpretation of his work that will be on a plaque near the art.
“From the original inhabitants of the region, to the Creek People, to rise of the city of Columbus as a pre-and post-civil war commercial hub, to the current population of Columbus, the location of the Falls as a ‘limit of travel’ on the Chattahoochee has served as host for prosperity, and establishment for centuries,” Morrison said. “It is my hope to pay homage to this specific fall line portion of the Chattahoochee. I hope to replicate the natural course of the river from north to south as each of the six sculptural elements span from the northern courtyard of Brown Hall, through the building, and spill out into the southern courtyard. While each of the elements vary, in scale, height, and chromatic complexity, they are all unified by a single horizontal blue band representing the flow of water over the fall line.”
Morrison creates his geometric painting and sculptures by welding aluminum plates together and then baking the enameled color onto the forms with industrial sized ovens. Each color must be fired separately, so each piece requires at least 10 -14 firings. The welding process is hidden, almost as if the pieces were cast shapes, but the color application reveals the artist’s hand in the final work.
“We are very excited to add this artwork to our campus and to the Uptown Columbus landscape,” said Columbus State University President Chris Markwood. “I am a big fan of public art because it makes our community more expressive and interesting – it helps heighten our awareness of our surroundings. My thanks to those who stepped forward to support this idea.”