Monday, February 20, 2006


An internationally known artist, Mark Statsz of Bellvue, Idaho, will present his work as the first of three artists under consideration in the USAO Public Art Project this spring.


The first presentation is scheduled at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Davis Hall Theater at USAO. Stasz will present his proposal for the public art sculpture to be erected in the Alumni Walk of Fame in front of the USAO Nash Library.


Stasz is a fine arts graduate of Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., and over the past 15 years, has created more than 200 site-specific works of art for private, corporate and public clients. Stasz works specifically with metal and rock that are ideally suited for large-scale outdoor sculptures.


“The elemental forms of my work are broad in aesthetic appeal—large open circles and sweeping curves have an inherent beauty and gracefulness regardless of their size,” Stasz said in his proposal to USAO. “They allow for the viewer to see through the work and place it visually in its surrounding environment. I strive to create visual tension and intrigue by incorporating the forms in an asymmetrical composition or by suspending large rock forms.”


USAO is the first educational institution in the state to collaborate with the newly formed Office of Oklahoma Art in Public Places per legislative action stated in the Oklahoma Art in Public Places Act of 2004.


USAO has selected three artists from a pool of 82 state, national and international sculptors competing in USAO’s Nash Library Public Art Project. Characteristic examples of their work can be viewed on the USAO website: /gallery/finalists.htm.


Other scheduled presentations include: Archie Held of Point Richmond, Calif., on March 2, and Ulrich Pakker of Seattle, Wash., on March 9.


“This project reflects the mission of the Oklahoma Art in Public Places program to use the arts to reflect the state’s unique history, spirit and diversity and to imbue the state with a vibrant sense of place,” said Julie Bohannon, who coordinates the public art project at USAO. “The project also enhances USAO’s mission as the state’s public liberal arts college in providing the public a thorough education preparing and enriching students for meaningful, purposeful lives.”


USAO President John Feaver sees the project as an important step in developing the OCW Historic District, he said. “In addition, I view it in the larger context as a component in Chickasha’s economic development plan for enriching and educational public art.”