NEWS FROM MARSHALL UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
ONE JOHN MARSHALL DRIVE, HUNTINGTON, WV 25755
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Sarah “Sassa” Nibert, a Marshall University senior majoring in art and design, has won the Huntington Steel and Supply Inc. competition for students participating in a public sculpture class.
Nibert has been awarded materials, funds for fabrication and a stipend to complete her work, and Huntington Steel and its employees are assisting her in fabricating her sculpture in their shop. The finished design will then be moved to a site selected by the City of Huntington in Harris Riverfront Park.
“This competition offers our students invaluable experience,” said Jonathan Cox, professor of sculpture at Marshall. “Each student developed a design, a scale model and artist’s statement to support his or her choices. They were then required to present their ideas and justify them to a panel of individuals from the university, the city, and the Huntington Museum of Art. Just that process is an essential experience for a student hoping to make his or her living as an artist.”
As the winner of the competition, Nibert will take that learning further. “The winning designer must manage his or her own project from budget to construction to installation,” Cox noted. “Sassa is getting real-world experience in bringing a project to life.”
Nibert’s design is a simplistic, abstracted form, representing a child and an adult figure in a scene of playful interaction. It is bright, inviting, and gender-neutral so that viewers could potentially see themselves or loved ones when they see the sculpture.
“I want a mother to see herself and her child, but also want fathers, grandparents, babysitters or children to see themselves and their families in the art,” Nibert said. “Public art absolutely has the power to inspire and influence people, and an issue that I feel is prominent in our area currently is overall health and activity level, especially for children. As the parent of a six year old, I am aware of the increasingly sedentary lifestyles that our children are adopting, and can see days of fresh air and imaginative outdoor play disappearing. Busy daily lives of parents can add to the problem, making healthy, interactive, health- and relationship-strengthening play time scarce.”
“We are gratified by this competition and the responses of the students,” said Huntington Steel President Mike Emerson. “Our entire company is invested in this project with Sassa. Our employees take pride in knowing that Huntington Steel is involved in a project that means so much to students – but also a project that will mean so much to Huntington. When the sculpture is installed, it means that Huntington Steel and its crew have dedicated themselves to our product, our craft and to our community. We are very pleased to be able to make this possible.”
The finished sculpture is scheduled to be installed and dedicated at Harris Riverfront Park on Sept. 11.