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November 1, 2011

Trumpeting the Arts: Sculpture on ISU campus adds to TH’s growing Arts Corridor

TERRE HAUTE — As notes from six trumpets filled the air amid a renovated Rankin Plaza, vivid blues, greens, reds, yellows, purples and pink trumpets flashed from a new spherical sculpture dedicated Monday at Indiana State University.

Artist Howard Kalish, Brooklyn, N.Y., designed and built the 10-foot by 9-foot outdoor sculpture, named “A Chorus of Trumpets.” The artwork is made of stainless steel and aluminum, with translucent tinted urethane molded into the shape of trumpet bells.

“These materials are suitable for hot summers and cold winters. The urethane is a UV resistant material that is good for this range of temperatures” in Terre Haute, Kalish said. “My work tends to be either tall and thin or spherical. This piece grew out of the construction method.”

Kalish made a honeycomb core circle, supported on a stainless steel pole. Aluminum metal rods extend outward from the core, ending with colorful trumpet bells. The art piece comprises 214 metal rods, and each core circle piece has six supports. “There is a lot of work in there,” Kalish said.

The dedication sounds came from an ISU trumpet ensemble, performing a musical piece from internationally acclaimed composer Eric Ewazen, who served as a guest composer at ISU’s 45th Contemporary Music Festival, which occurred last week at ISU.

Kalish’s art is the 11th outdoor sculpture for Art Spaces Inc.-Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection. Art Spaces made a national solicitation for the project and had about 100 applicants, executive director Mary Kramer said.

That was then narrowed to three finalists. The project cost $60,000, Kramer said.

The renovated Rankin Plaza is a courtyard in the midst of Tirey, Rankin and Parson Halls on the east side of ISU’s campus quadrangle, visible from Seventh Street.

The sculpture continues a tradition in strengthening ISU’s relationship with the community, said ISU President Daniel J. Bradley, who noted “A Chorus of Trumpets” was developed specifically for the plaza through collaboration between the arts group and the university.

At the dedication, Kalish said he “is left with an intense feeling of gratitude to the people of Terre Haute ... and to the weather,” he said of the sunny day in the high 50s. “I came here before doing the  sculpture and as soon as I saw this place, I felt inspired. That is a word that I don’t use very often. It is just a wonderful site for a piece of sculpture, which is possible to see from many viewpoints,” Kalish said.

The sculpture reflects nearby Tilson Music Hall, which is inside Tirey Hall.

“I felt in this piece that the idea of color relates to the idea of music. Color, for me, has very musical qualities. It has intervals and it has melody. I spent many hours designing the colors of this sculpture and am very pleased with the results,” Kalish said.

Kalish has taught at the National Academy of Design in New York; New York University; and at the Nassau County Museum Art School in Roslyn, N.Y.. His public art can be viewed at locations such as Navy Pier in Chicago; Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia; Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Roger Williams State Park, Providence, R.I.; and City Hall Park, Clifton, N.J.

He also has sculpture parks such as Wandell Sculpture Park in Urbana, Ill.; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, N.Y.; Holycroft Sculpture Park, Ivoryton, Conn.; and Cedarhurst in Mt. Vernon, Ill.

His work can be viewed at his website at www.howardkalish.com.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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