By Libby Legett, Indiana State University
There’s more than meets the eye to Terre Haute’s newest public art work.
Solar Sycamore, a sculpture of a leaf on Indiana State University property at 11th and Chestnut streets, can harness energy from the sun to power homes, businesses and other buildings.
Art Spaces, Indiana State’s Recycling Center and Watermark Collective came together to create the piece to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Recycling Center and the ongoing commitment to continue recycling at ISU..
Princeton Review has selected Indiana State University as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada for the past three straight years, noted Petra Nyendick, director of university’s Community School of the Arts.
As a member of Watermark Artists’ Collectvie, Nyendick helped conceive of the design of the project, raise funds for the project, and promote the dedication.
“The dedication truly embodied and demonstrated the spirit of community engagement that we strive for,” said Stephanie Krull, landscape and grounds manager at Indiana State.
Krull was directly involved with the planning of the Solar Sycamore in regards to site related topics or decisions that included landscaping, site furnishing, and possible future developments.
Grounds maintenance crews planted more than 50 shrubs and grasses for the event and they will remain. Additional landscaping is planned for next spring.
“The site will be a native prairie type environment and also helps with parking lot drainage,” Krull said.
A dry well will also be added behind the leaf, providing a retention system to help direct storm water runoff back into the ground instead of the street drain. The sidewalk at the site will be completed using a porous surface made from granite and recycled rubber rather than concrete or asphalt.
The surface uses a binder that hardens and leaves air spaces that help clean the water as it passes through, Krull said.
“The installation will add to Art Spaces’ nationally recognized sculpture collection,” Nyendick said.
Two more sculptures by Art Spaces that are planned to be completed by this December and there are several sculptures planned for during 2016.
“The Solar Sycamore truly adds a three dimensional symbol of the spirit of ISU, while also educating us all about solar power and low energy lighting,” Krull said.
Indiana State University
Illustrating what it has meant to be a Sycamore over the past century, “Seasons of White and Blue: Exploring the Past and Present of ISU” is the Special Collections exhibit in at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library this fall.
“Seasons of White and Blue” encompasses the history of the university through the lens of fashion and culture. While the Sycamores of today sport jeans and State T-shirts, the students of yestercentury donned petticoats and suits as casual wear.
“This exhibit captures the cultural changes on Indiana State’s campus and what it has meant to be a Sycamore,” said Katie Sutrina-Haney, university archivist.
It was Sutrina-Haney, with the help of Data Curation Librarian Kayla Siddell, who brought this exhibit to life by incorporating clothing, past mascots, yearbooks and photographs.
“The fashion and trends of Indiana State men and women are indicative of the times and mirror societal views,” said Siddell. “The exhibit is an easy way to understand the university’s long-term history in a quick tour.”
As part of Indiana State’s sesquicentennial celebration, “Seasons of White and Blue” encapsulates the past 150 years by emphasizing the major time periods since the Indiana State Normal School was created in 1865.
“Being a Sycamore is more meaningful to students if they know what it means and how Indiana State evolved from a small 19th century Normal school to a 21st century university,” Sutrina-Haney said.
The exhibit features old cheerleading and basketball uniforms, Sycamore Sam’s shoes and a proposed university mascot drawing of a unicorn with golden hooves and horn.
“It is entertaining to see how fashion has evolved over the years,” Siddell said. “Students will be able to compare and contrast what they see to present day fads, and alumni will enjoy reminiscing over the old campus culture.”
Fashion and beliefs often reflect changes in a community and culture. “Seasons of White and Blue” does a great job of representing the various time periods as it helps to bridge the past and present together. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members are welcome to explore the cultural history of Indiana State.
“Seasons of White and Blue” will be on display through Dec. 11 on the third floor of the library, accessible 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.