Look for New Sculptures Around Campus

November 27, 2017 at 12:27 pm

“Annulus” by Scott Strader

Professor Jane Nodine is working to make the University of South Carolina Upstate a destination for lovers of outdoor monumental sculpture.

Nodine, who is the assistant chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies, University Gallery director, and professor of art, is also working to bring more art installations to the USC Upstate campus. There are currently 17 sculptures on campus, including three by Atlanta artist Scott Strader that were installed during the week of Nov. 12.

“We’re really excited about it,” Nodine said recently. “I wanted to freshen up the campus displays. We had had several empty pads for sculptures, where things had been removed in the past year or two, and I had wanted to get things back up to speed.”

She noted that the art installations help draw visitors to the campus and increase the University’s visibility in the region.

“The grounds of the University are open 24/7/365, and that’s something, with us being located [near] the crossroads of [interstates] 85 and 26, that has been a real advantage for us,” she explained. “People can be headed for Charlotte or Atlanta and they can say ‘oh, let’s swing off and see the sculpture at USC Upstate.’ Really, what I hope is that as we continue to add more, we can become a destination for sculpture, which I think will be exciting.”

The University’s current collection comprises both permanent pieces and several that are on loan to the school. Nodine described the collection as “essentially abstract.”

“Furious Angle” by Scott Strader

“The pieces that we’ve been able to select and the pieces that are in the permanent collection do end up having kind of a synergy among themselves because the styles are somewhat related or similar,” she said. “They are really dealing with design elements: shape; form; and sometimes color and texture; as opposed to representing a tree or a figure or an object. When we look at these, we’re really looking at elements of design, and how they set in space.”

As part of a continuing outreach beyond campus borders, Nodine said the University has collaborated with two local private colleges, Converse and Wofford, to help broaden local exposure to art. As a result of one-such collaboration, a 2010 retrospective of works by then-Converse College professor of art Mayo Mac Boggs, the University received two of the artist’s works on loan from his family.

They joined works by a wide range of artists, including Dangerfield Ashton, who created the large, arch-shaped piece on display on the campus’s Lower Quad. Nodine said that she hopes to acquire more pieces, including others by the late artist Ashton, during 2018.

“Right now, what’s in place is going to be here for at least a year or more,” she said. “I do anticipate, in 2018, adding more sculptures. What my vision is — maybe not next year — but I’m shooting for 25 to 30 or more, just depending on whatever they’ll let me do. With the agreement and support of administration and grounds and all of that, we will continue to be adding pieces.”

She also said new signage is also in the works for the installations currently on campus.