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Southern Utah University Art & Sculpture Stroll

By Southern Utah University on August 17, 2017 in

Alumni, History, Cedar City

Designed for the culturally-minded and curious at heart, this self-paced walking tour will introduce you to a variety of artifacts that weave our campus together in story and metaphor. Look forward to meeting a cast of fascinating characters from the pages of Shakespeare, and coming face to face with icons of local and global history as you wind your way through our meticulously manicured campus grounds. At SUU, we believe art enriches the student experience and inspires all who take the time to observe.

Time:  Generally, the stroll takes 45 minutes to an hour

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Download the Art & Sculpture Stroll Map

1. Pederson Shakespeare Character Garden

king lear, juliet, william shakespeare statues

From the pages of Shakespeare, this quaint, circular garden features favorite characters including King Lear, Juliet, and the Bard of Avon himself. Be sure to notice narrative-themed benches located here and throughout the Beverley Center grounds.

2. Stillman Sculpture Court

the sower jane dedecker sculpture

Consider the juxtaposition of the minimalist Stillman courtyard and the series of elegant, detailed sculptures that reside here. See “The Sower” by Jane DeDecker. What type of seeds do you presume this sower is sowing?

3. Fred C. Adams

utah shakespeare festival founder statue staley watts

In 1961, Fred C. Adams and his wife Barbara created the Tony-award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival. This 7-foot-2 bronze replica features Mr. Adams with arms outstretched welcoming Festival goers from all nations. Notice the pop culture icon Adams is known for wearing on his wristwatch. Sculpted by Staley J. Watts, the statue was dedicated in 2006 with Utah Gov. John Huntsman Jr. in attendance.

4. Tatiana

a midsummer's night dream fairy queen

This sculpture brings to life Shakespeare’s queen of the fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Feminine and maternal, Tatiana is known for standing up for what she believes in. Sculpted by Staley J. Watts, dedicated 2008.

5. Southern Utah Museum of Art

southern utah museum of art

Designed by Los Angeles-based architects Brooks + Sharpa, SUMA itself is a work of art. The building’s overall structure is influenced by sandstone formations found at nearby Bryce and Zion National Parks, with representation of slot canyons on the east and west exterior. Inside, 6,600 square feet of climate-controlled gallery space features both permanent and moveable walls for adapting to exhibits of various sizes. Gov. Gary Herbert was present at the building’s dedication in 2016.

6. Obert C. Tanner Fountain

scott m matheson oc tanner fountain

This campus landmark symbolically divides campus into two parts. First, the classroom filled with learning and love for adventure. Second, the serenity that permeates the university atmosphere. Present at the fountain’s dedication in 1982 was Utah Gov. Scott M. Matheson and fountain donor O.C. Tanner. At this place, “Meditation and water are wedded forever,” quoted Tanner from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in his dedication address.

7. Old Main

southern utah university old main building

In 1897, the newly organized Utah Legislature called for establishment of a teacher training school in southern Utah to provide for the region’s emerging pioneer settlement communities. When Cedar City was selected as the site, residents were elated. Town leaders were caught by surprise, however, when the legislature announced in December a building must be constructed and ready by the following fall, or the community would lose the opportunity. With no time to lose, residents organized winter lumbering expeditions and began pouring labor and resources into the project. Known today as Old Main, construction was completed in time and dedicated in 1898. Located at the heart of SUU’s campus, the story of Old Main of serves as an inspirational legend of fortitude, determination, and community triumph.

8. Carter Carillon Bell Tower

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This free-standing bell tower represents a rite of passage for SUU students. When freshmen begin their education at SUU, they are paraded as a class beneath this 76-foot-tall tower heading east toward cheering faculty and staff. Then, at graduation, the formal processional moves beneath the bell tower, heading west toward the setting sun symbolizing the end of an era. Featuring 25 bells, the tower was constructed in 2008 and chimes every hour on the hour. As you take continue your tour, be sure to keep an ear open for the tower’s chiming bells.

9. The Zone

pe building statue the zone body mind spirit

These striking metal pillars are topped with laminate prisms and are purposely placed outside the J.L. Sorenson Physical Education Building. Created by New Mexico artists Howard and Kathleen Meehan in 2001, the sculpture serves as a visual metaphor for the union of body, mind and spirit. It is intended to serve as a reminder that the focus of these three parts results in peak human performance. Try standing at the base of the pillars and look up. From the ground to its three pinnacle points, the sculpture measures 30 feet.

10. Sharwan Smith

southern utah university sharwan smith student jerry anderson

This larger-than-life bronze sculpture depicting SUU alumnus Sharwan Smith represents the enthusiastic spirit of SUU students. A talented student and leader, Smith’s energy and compassion touched the lives of many before an untimely death in 1995 as the result of a tragic auto accident. The sculpture was created in 2000 by artist Jerry Anderson of Leeds, Utah. The Sharwan Smith Student Center is the only major college building in Utah named after a student.

11. The Founders’ Wagon

oldest artifact SUU blaine allan

One of the university’s oldest remaining artifacts, this modestly-constructed wagon is the actual vehicle used to haul lumber for the construction of Old Main through heavy blizzard conditions between January and March 1898. The wagon is built from wood cut between 1894 and 1895 and was restored by Blaine Allan in 1998.

12. The Founders Monument

founders monument jerry anderson early utah pioneers

The dramatic account of SUU founders provides an example of fortitude for today’s modern university experience. This scene depicted by artist Jerry Anderson centers around an old sorrel horse forging its way through snow drifts and embankments. Created in 1986, the piece exemplifies the extent of the commitment of Utah's early pioneers to the cause of education.

13. Savage Rose

james devore brushed aluminum suu campus

The first contemporary sculpture to be placed on SUU’s campus, this brushed aluminum creation was crafted by California artist James Devore in 1977. Savage Rose was selected from 62 small-scale prototype entries to a national sculpture competition administered by the Cedar City Art Committee. The 1976 competition was one of Cedar City’s Bicentennial commemoration events.

14. The Centurium

jerry anderson great thinkers statues

Dedicated in 1997 as part of the university’s 100-year anniversary celebration, this inspiring outdoor rotunda features the likenesses of 12 great thinkers of Western civilization. The men and women depicted at the Centurim are honored for their significant intellectual contributions and for inspiring learning long after their own lives and times. Sculptor Jerry Anderson took three years to complete the sculptures comprising this considerable collection.

15. The Garden of Symbols

suu david phillips cedar canyon egyptian dead sea scrolls easter island

Artist David Phillips of Massachusetts created this fascinating compilation of ancient and modern symbols in 1995. Featured monoliths were quarried from Cedar Canyon, and panels from Torrey, Utah. Moving from left to right, the included symbols depict a variety of eras and empires. Panels include characters ranging from Egyptian hieroglyphs to ancient writings from Easter Island, and characters from the Dead Sea Scrolls to cattle brands. This piece is best viewed from the bottom floor of level of the Geralt R. Sherratt Library. Something to look for:  Panel 9 includes a verse from the Gutenberg Bible published in 1455.

16. The Pioneer Monument

martin handcart company suu statue

When 9-year-old Nellie left her home in Tintwhistle, England, she could not have imagined the journey that lay in store. Setting sail at Liverpool, the four-member Pucell family began their journey to join with Latter-day Saints in the new Rocky Mountain Zion. After arriving in America, the Pucells connected with the Martin Handcart Company at Iowa City for what would become the ill-fated final stretch of their journey. Orphaned and maimed from frostbite, Nellie and her sister Maggie arrived with rescue teams in Salt Lake City Nov. 30, 1856. The sisters migrated to Cedar City where Nellie met and became a plural wife of William Unthank. She gave birth to six children and made an income by taking in washing, knitting and crocheting. Nellie lived to age 69. In this 1991 work of art, sculptor Jerry Anderson beautifully commemorates the story and positive perspective of Nellie Pucell Unthank.

17. Probe

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Located in the front lobby of the Science Center, this 25-foot, three-dimensional mosaic contains images symbolically related to the various areas of study in the College of Science and Engineering. Created in 1993 by California artist Allen Bishop, this brightly-colored abstract features five panels that visually represent the ascent of human scientific inquiry. The bottom panel begins with physics and moves through microbiology, macrobiology and then to geology. The top panel represents the cosmos.

18. The Starmaker

nolan johnson

Suspended seemingly effortlessly in mid-air, this piece’s main character appears to be in the process of making a string of new stars. Comprised of metal and stone, the elegant Starmaker was created by Utah artist Nolan Johnson in 1994. Surrounded by pines in this serene corner of campus, take note of the many birds chirping as if to accompany the Starmaker in her work.

19. Two Old Trees

tree campus usa arbor day foundation oldest elm trees

At this final destination of the tour, we invite you to look up to take in our oldest living campus legacy. These two giant elm trees on 300 West are among the last remaining of a row planted in 1898 in preparation for the dedication of Old Main. At SUU, they represent some of nature’s greatest works of art. Notice that a main branch of the north-most tree sustained significant damage in a May snowstorm a few years ago, requiring removal to spare the tree.  

With more than 1,900 trees on campus, the university’s commitment to forestry management earned SUU recognition as a Tree Campus by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Download the Art & Sculpture Stroll Map


     

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