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Arizona artist wins 10th annual outdoor sculpture competition

Artist Shawn R. Skabelund, winner of Miami’s 10th annual outdoor sculpture competition, will be artist-in-residence through Friday. Skabelund, from Flagstaff, Ariz., is building his winning proposal, "Temple of the Sibyl," on the lawn in front of Presser Hall.

The sculpture competition is funded by a gift from William (Miami ’36) and Dorothy Yeck of Dayton.

"Temple of the Sibyl" was inspired by the Pantheon. "During a recent visit to Rome, Italy, the pure design, beauty and grandeur of the Pantheon struck me, once again," said the artist. "I have designed ‘Temple of the Sibyl’ to recreate the feel and majesty of this ancient Roman structure. My materials include a concrete pad, two circular steel corncribs with a roof, corn and a full female deer skeleton."

The sculpture pays homage to an agrarian and more natural way of life that is vanishing through industrial agricultural practices and urban sprawl. It encourages viewers to consider their relationship to the local landscape and ecosystems. The simple corncrib represents the natural, historical way to dry ears of corn; the deer also symbolizes the natural ecosystem. The installation is designed to be temporary; it will remain on the Presser lawn through December.

Miami students will assist in all aspects of installing the site-specific work. Because of the intensity, time commitment and educational benefit of working with a professional artist, students who participate in the project can receive class credits.

Skabelund will present a slide show about his work at 7 p.m. today in Room 100 of Miami’s art building. A reception honoring the artist will be held 5 p.m. Friday on the lawn by the sculpture. The public is invited to both the slide show and reception.

Date Published: 10/21/1999
Volume: 19   Number: 13

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