Did you know Tuscaloosa is home to amazing art work? We’re talking giant iron robots laying in the grass kind of art. If you didn’t know of the many sculptures that adorn University of Alabama’s campus and surrounding area, we’ve got you covered with a guide to the coolest ones, plus some background on each.
1. Goldie 1971
It’s a bird, it’s a plane— no, it’s actually a giant iron robot in Tuscaloosa’s Woods Quad. This iron giant called Goldie 1971 was installed to honor Birmingham’s Industrial past.
Previous University of Alabama graduate student Joe McCreary, created this rusting giant for the UA campus after being inspired by the look of abandoned Sloss Furnaces. If you don’t already know its history, Sloss Furnaces used to be the South’s largest manufacturers of pig iron until it closed in 1971.
Goldie represents the story of the iron men who worked in smoldering conditions until the factory’s close. Sloss is now a historical national landmark and re-opened to the public as a museum and provides artist studios and metalwork classes.
Sloss has moved on to be something new, but Goldie is a reminder to never forget the past that helped build our present.
2. Mobius and Borromean Rings
Mobius and Borromean Rings is the most recent sculpture to be placed in Woods Quad on UA’s campus. It was designed and created in steel by marketing major and studio art minor Paget Kern. Paget wanted to do a collaborative project for this piece including students in both the Math and Art History departments.
These are two unlikely partners, but by linking up two complex mathematical ideas together, her art-piece was born. The design is based on a triple Möbius strip tied together in a Borromean knot.
3. Quilted Vessel
The Quilted Vessel by Craig Wedderspoon was created in 2013 and lies in the very center of the Woods Quad Sculpture Garden.
Welded and cast aluminium made this uniquely-shaped vessel. A sculpture that lives up to the expectations of its title, it takes the appearance of a quilted and deformed boat.
4. Montgomery Marker
The Montgomery Marker by UA Professor of Art Craig Wedderspoon can also be found in the Woods Quad Sculpture Garden. This bronze porous sphere is surrounded by greenery and is a stand-out addition to the garden.
5. Fibonacci Spiral
This sculpture by artist Lindsay Jones Lindsey was installed in the Woods Quad Sculpture Garden in 2014. It mimics the Fibonacci Spiral sequence with a reflective metal design.
6. Homage to Brancusi
This is the oldest piece residing in the Woods Quad and was created by Billy Lee. This talented sculptor received his education from the prestigious Royal College of Art in London and built this piece in 1993.
Though not in the Woods Quad, Minerva can be seen flying high over the Park at Manderson Landing near UA. This statue was designed by Caleb O’Connor and was presented on the day of Tuscaloosa’s bicentennial celebration.
This 30-foot, 9,500-pound sculpture of the Roman goddess rests upon a reflective crescent which protrudes from the rock beneath. Her left foot can be seen splashing down onto the sculpted water while her body reaches upward. An owl with its wings spread wide can be spotted on the wrist of her outstretched right arm.
The statue is accompanied by a bicentennial timeline created by Craig Wedderspoon. It runs 110 feet along Manderson Landing, leading to the sculpture. The timeline depicts the Black Warrior River with historic dates in the city’s history carved into the concrete.
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