TJC students may have noticed several new granite sculptures arranged throughout the campus. They were sculpted by artist Candyce Garrett, who was here in August to help install them.
Tyler Museum of Art Communication and Membership Coordinator Jon Perry worked alongside Garrett to get the sculptures unloaded.
“They are solid granite. I believe the one we put in front of the administrative services building is about 11,000 pounds. We had an 80-foot crane to hoist them into place,” said Perry.
Derrick White, Art Department Chair and Professor, also got to meet and speak with Garrett while she was on campus.
“It’s great to collaborate with the Tyler Museum of Art, and it’s nice to have artwork on display to help beautify an already beautiful campus. The designs are very, very eye-catching,” said White.
Not only do the sculptures make the campus more interesting and appealing, but the art department will benefit from having the sculptures on campus, as well.
White said, “One of the benefits is, they poured the concrete slabs to put the sculptures on and then after the exhibitions come down we get to use those concrete pads to put TJC student work up. We are really excited about that.”
Philana Pace, also an Art Professor, said, “I’ve only seen a few, but they are beautifully done and look very, very nice.”
While there are currently 13 sculptures on the campus, there will be more than 20 smaller ones installed in one of the exhibition rooms in the Tyler Museum of Art by Sept. 27, when the exhibit becomes open to the public. They will be much smaller in scale than the ones around campus. They will be a few hundred pounds, rather than several thousand.
Garrett has worked with several sculpting mediums, granite being her latest. She enjoys working with granite because it is forceful and it demands precision. It is more challenging than anything she has ever worked with. Different from the rest, she believes granite works you while you are working it. It’s a give and take relationship. Many regard her work with granite as “monumental” because of its mass.
Garrett was raised on a historic ranch in Val Verde County, Texas, but she currently resides in an 1800s-vintage adobe firehouse in New Mexico. She attended Southern Methodist University and received a degree in art from Corpus Christi. She began sculpting in 1990. Today, Garrett’s art is sought for public display and by private collectors.
Originally, the museum was going to reserve both of the exhibition rooms for all of Garrett’s artwork but Perry said, “There was just no way to do it logistically. We couldn’t get a crane in here. We couldn’t get a forklift in here. So we came up with plan B — installing the heavier ones outdoors, and that worked out perfectly because now it is an art walk.”
There is still a lot of stuff that has to be done before the exhibition opens.
“We have got to finish power washing the grit off of some of them,” said Perry. “All of the sculptures will be named and labeled, and we will have an interactive map on our website as well as hard copies marking all the major points of interest. The idea is, whatever point of interest you find around campus, you start there and work your way back to the museum and we will have an installation of her smaller sculptures.”
The exhibit will be in the museum from Sept. 27, 2015 to Jan. 17, 2016. The outdoor sculptures will remain on campus until May 22, 2016.
There are sculptures located around the Tyler Museum of Art, Pirtle Technology, White Administration Building, The Center for Earth & Space Science Education (CESSE), Genecov Science building, Wise Auditorium, Holley Hall, and the new Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences building. Printed maps will be available in the lobby of each of these buildings. A digital map will also be available on the Tyler Museum of Art Website: www.tylermuseum.org.
One of the museum’s current exhibitions, The Art of the Brick, has been on display since July 10, and has brought in quite the crowd. It will close on Sept. 13, 2015.
“Legos has been our busiest exhibition in 13 years. We have had close to 15,000 visitors for this one. For us, those are huge numbers,” said Perry.
Perry also emphasized that the museum is free to all students and faculty during museum hours. It is a service for the college and community.
“We always want to be a more vital part of the student-life experience. If our exhibits aren’t particularly interesting to you, come in and have lunch,” said Perry.
The museum has a small cafe inside open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is located across from the Wagstaff Gymnasium. Students, children, and museum members receive free admission. Adults are $5, and seniors are $3.