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A Tribute to Trees Exhibition at Wofford College

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

SPARTANBURG, SC – In a tribute to trees lost on the Wofford College campus during the December 2002 ice storm, a group of prominent local sculptors is turning some of those fallen trees into artwork that will be displayed this fall.

The sculptures will be part of an outdoor exhibition Sept. 1 through Oct. 26 on Wofford’s central lawn area, where the storm losses were concentrated. An accompanying interior exhibition of photographs chronicling the ice storm and the sculpture creations and installations, along with designs leading to the final sculptures, will be held simultaneously in the Sandor Teszler Library Gallery.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a symposium titled “The Nature of Public Art” will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

The only requirement for the sculptures was that wood from trees felled in the ice storm be incorporated into the artwork.

“During the December 2002 ice storm, the Wofford campus and Spartanburg as a whole lost a great many beautiful trees,” says Oakley H. Coburn, dean of Wofford’s library, who devised the idea and assembled the artists. “It seemed a shame to let them simply be lost, so the college’s physical plant personnel saved portions of the downed timber, from which the sculptors have chosen twigs, branches and even trunks to incorporate into their designs.”

Sculptors Mac Boggs (Converse College), Amy Goldstein Rice, Kipp McIntyre, Jane Nodine (University of South Carolina Spartanburg), Ralph Paquin, Anne Stoddard, Lalage Warrington, Winston Wingo and David Zacharias (Converse College) accepted the challenge and will install sculptures for the exhibition.

The interior exhibition will include photographs by Mark Olencki of the storm’s aftermath and the progression of some of the artwork.

A reception honoring the sculptors and photographer will be held on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Library Gallery.

The symposium on Sept. 9, set for 7 p.m. in the Olin Teaching Theater, will feature Nodine, Boggs and Peter Schmunk, Wofford professor in the fine arts department. A reception will follow in the Papadopoulos Building.

“We hope that the outdoor exhibition will draw attention to the exterior space surrounding it, and help to prompt discussion of the nature of public art,” Coburn says.