By Chuck Williams via ledger-enquirer.com
A significant public art project will be installed and dedicated in downtown Columbus next week.
The sculpture, which will feature six unique parts, will be placed outside and inside Columbus State University’s Frank Brown Hall on the former Ledger-Enquirer site.
The work by Colorado artist Pard Morrison will be dedicated Wednesday afternoon at Brown Hall. Morrison, who visited Columbus during the process to commission the work, will be here for the dedication.
The work is entitled “Fall Line,” after the geological fall line that runs through the heart of Columbus and the mountains give way to the Coastal plain. It will include multiple aluminum structures that will feature bright colors.
“The work replicates the natural course of the river from north to south as each of the six sculptural elements span from the northern courtyard, through the building and spill out into the southern courtyard,” a description of the work reads. “While each of the elements will vary is scale, height and chromatic complexity, they are all unified by a single horizontal blue band representing the flow of the water over the Fall Line.”
Morrison spent some time here trying to understand the Chattahoochee Valley.
“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 locations of the falls as a ‘limit of travel’ on the Chattahoochee has served as a host for prosperity and establishments for centuries,” Morrison said in a statement. “It is my hope to pay homage to this specific fall line portion of the Chattahoochee.”
The committee that selected Morrison included Hannah Israel, gallery director and professor of art at CSU; Dr. Jonathan F. Walz, director of curatorial affairs and curator of American art at the Columbus Museum; and Will Barnes, partner at Barnes Gibson Partners Architects, the firm that designed Brown Hall.
The artwork was completely funded by private donors who have asked to remain anonymous.
“What stood out to me was it was not art for art’s sake,” Barnes said late last week. “It integrated itself very cleanly.”
There is great value in public art, Israel said. The piece will be in a building that houses the university’s education and nursing programs.
“Public art on campus enhances our educational experiences, deepens our sense of place, stimulates our thinking and transforms the places 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’s work usually consists of geometric paintings or sculptures created by welding aluminum plates together.
The works are substantial in size and will be bolted down.
“That is one of the reasons I was brought into it as the architect,” Barnes said.
The placement of work is in the entrance area on 12th Street that connects the new structure with the renovated, historic Ledger-Enquirer building.
“It injects itself to bring the new and old together,” Barnes said. “It has great character and has a lot of value, probably moreso than a painting on the walls.”