public art

University of Illinois at Chicago students, faculty, and staff have the chance to influence the look and feel of the new Engineering Innovation Building by giving their thoughts on the public art that will greet visitors as they enter.

The UIC Fine Arts Review Committee has selected three designs from highly regarded artists across the country and is asking members of the UIC community to express which is their favorite: “Conduit” by Rachel Beach of New York, “Nano Vanitas” by Todd Slaughter of Ohio, or “Entropy” by local Chicago artist Christine Tarkowski.

The committee received 70 applications based on a public call for artists. The finalists’ charge: propose an abstract suspended sculpture that will hang in either the atrium of the lobby or across the entire lobby ceiling.

Models and digital presentations from the three finalists are now on display in the lobby of the Engineering Research Facility and will remain there through the end of the month. Everyone is invited to check out the models and vote. Voting is open through 11:59 p.m. on April 24, and the results will help guide the committee members, whom will make the final decision.

Seth Sheppard, a senior in mechanical engineering, took some time out of his day to check out the model artwork. After a few minutes, he said he was leaning toward voting for Slaughter’s “Nano Vanitas.”

“I like how with this project, you can see the scale and where everything will fit into the new building,” Sheppard said.

S. Elise Archias, associate professor of art history and chairwoman of the selection committee, said a selection will be made by May 3. The winning artist will then have until the end of the year to install his or her work in the EIB.

“We are hoping to get as much feedback as possible from the community,” she said. “I want it to look good and be something the campus will be proud of. We would like for as many people as possible to know they were part of the process.”

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