A second permanent sculpture has been installed on the grounds of the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center .
A crane lifted the 10-foot tall, 8-foot wide stainless steel structure by contemporary artist Kevin Lyles of Gallipolis, Ohio, into place on Wednesday (July 23). The sculpture, calledLast Dance,was then filled with 5 tons of river stones.
My work is molded by a myriad of influences. More often than not, these are obtained from things I see in nature,said Lyles, who is professor of art at the University of Rio Grande in Ohio.I am fascinated by the contrasts of color, form, nature and purpose. For example, the contrast of organic round stones verses geometric stainless steel.
It was important for me to use the round stones found in West Virginia rivers, which have been accentuated by the steel wire which creates lines,he added.It can be viewed as a vertical topographical map. Geology, abstraction, design and symbolism all tie into the work. The lines of steel are the tributaries of streams within the mountains.
This project was coordinated by sculptor Alison Helm , chair of the Division of Art and Design in the WVU College of Creative Arts and head of the WVU sculpture program . The sculpture was made possible by funding provided to the college by the Myers Foundations.
Kevin was a visiting sculptor at WVU in 2003, during which time his works were on view in the Mesaros Galleries at the CAC ,Helm said.He also exhibited his works, along with other sculptors, including myself, at the Snowshoe Institute a few years ago.
He is a fantastic person to work with and a wonderful craftsman, whose work ethic is amazing,she added.We are so happy to have his sculpture as a permanent part of the landscape here at the CAC .
Lyles came to the University of Rio Grande, near Columbus, Ohio, in 1990 from northern Illinois, where he was employed in architectural and sculptural restoration. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Abilene Christian University in Texas and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.
In addition to teaching in the graduate program at the University of Rio Grande, he teaches undergraduate courses in sculpture, ceramics, drawing and art history. He also actively exhibits his work in shows across the nation.