TMC campus undergoing artistic transformation


WHAT IS SCULPTING SPACES AT THOMAS MORE COLLEGE?

Sculpting Spaces will enhance outdoor campus spaces through careful landscape design, the addition of outdoor sculpture, sustainably designed gardens and meditative environments. As an on-going project, Sculpting Spaces offers students the opportunity to learn about both art and science within the landscapes of Thomas More College. Through various phases of this project, professors and students will work alongside each other in green spaces that are preserved as outdoor studios, laboratory classrooms and student galleries. In addition to beautifying the campus, Sculpting Spaces adds to the students’ educational and social experience at Thomas More College.

While enhancing the visibility of Thomas More College’s campus, Sculpting Spaces promotes both quiet reflection and a sense of community. Various projects are planned for Sculpting Spaces. Each makes a unique contribution to the aesthetics of the campus and advances the awareness of Thomas More College’s emergence as an artistic destination for the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area. Through Sculpting Spaces, donors can participate in introducing this outdoor classroom/gallery concept and help build upon the unique academic culture at Thomas More College. In addition, donors can experience a sense of pride for their part in helping Thomas More College be a place where the community can enjoy beautiful landscapes and art enthusiasts can add to their must-see list of artistic destinations.

MADONNA’S MEADOW

Madonna’s Meadow is a current project born out of Sculpting Spaces. It is centered on the concept of creating a ‘bridge’ between two buildings on campus, the Villa picnic area of the Administrative building and the Science Wing. Under the guidance of Adjunct Professor Kirk Mayhew, Madonna’s Meadow will incorporate pathways and natural outdoor sculptures designed to offer gateways and meditative environments that will encourage pedestrians to consider the beauty of Thomas More College’s campus as they come and go. As a major footpath and visual experience, Madonna’s Meadow will eventually feature three archways, a meditative dome, main pathways, tertiary pathways, a sustainable prairie and an integrated sculpture grounds.

While Madonna’s Meadow will function as a bridge between the two buildings, it will also be a space that invites reflection, a place to pause and rest. Madonna’s Meadow will engage Thomas More College’s strategic vision for developing a vibrant campus community that is enlivened by a sense of spiritual and academic excitement.

HOW ARE STUDENTS GOING TO BE INVOLVED?

The construction of Madonna’s Meadow will in part be created by both faculty and students. This offers students a unique opportunity for cross-disciplinary learning in both the visual arts and biology. Kirk Mayhew will bring his sculpture class outdoors to implement both the sculptural and landscaping elements of the design. Assistant Professor Dr. Shannon Galbraith-Kent will engage her biology students in the creative process of pairing regional perennials with sculpture and assist with sustainability of the design. Associate Professor Dr. Jerome Langguth plans for his environmental aesthetics class to participate in some of the conceptual and philosophical components of the aesthetics of Madonna’s Meadow. "This wonderful dialogue between disciplines will help communicate and strengthen the College’s liberal arts tradition," said Art Professor Alison Shepard, who is playing a key role in the development of Sculpting Spaces.

Students in Mayhew’s sculpture class will be the workforce and creative partners for Madonna’s Meadow and will play a part in designing a creative and functional environment. In addition, they will gain hands-on experience in site preparation and completion, supervision and safety, excavation, material allocation, environmental assembly using multiple materials and mixed media, as well as building and installing individual project-based sculptures.

Madonna’s Meadow will be a resource for several courses taught by the art faculty (e.g. 2D Design, 3D Design, Graphic Design Foundations, Drawing, Senior Seminar, among others).

HOW WILL MADONNA’S MEADOW BE MAINTAINED?

Once the archways and other structures are built, the amount of maintenance by faculty, students and volunteers will be minimal (approximately one time per semester). The yearly sculpture class will be academically charged to evaluate and recreate any existing sculptures or creative environmental elements as well as invent their own sculptures to put on display. With the proper care and management, this creatively built environment can serve as a foundation for multiple research projects into the near- and long-term future.