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July 18, 2013

James Tyler sculptures to be installed at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Two eight-foot tall James Tyler "Brickhead" sculptures will be installed this month in front of Purdue University's Yue-Kong Pao Hall.

Tyler, who is best known for his "Brickhead" series, this week and next is installing two large heads. "Brickhead Conversations," the pieces he designed for Purdue, are constructed from architectural red clay and will be installed between Sheetz and Marsteller streets. The bricks have a natural ceramic finish, an average thickness of three inches and are assembled using stainless steel pins. The Purdue sculptures also feature an audio component, and as people pass by, sounds of nature will play such as wind and flowing water.

The sculptures will be dedicated on Sept. 4. They are funded by the Florence H. Lonsford Endowment, which is restricted to purchasing artwork. Bryan Pijanowski, a professor of forestry and natural resources, is responsible for the natural soundscape recordings that are part of the sound arrangement for the Tyler piece.

"James Tyler's work is striking, and this installation will help define Pao Hall as an arts building," said Harry Bulow, professor and head of the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Yue-Kong Pao Hall, which opened in 2005, is home to the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. The South Campus Plaza, which features seating for study and outdoor classes, was dedicated in April 2009. Another sculpture installation on the plaza area includes a bronze horse by Deborah Butterfield. The temporary natural exhibit "Sidewinder" by Patrick Dougherty was there from 2011-2013.

Tyler's work has been exhibited across the United States and in 2006 he was appointed the first Executive Director of the GAGA Arts Center. He received his master of fine arts degree from Hampshire College, Massachusetts, in 1975. Previously, he studied at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu 

Source: Harry Bulow, 765-494-3054, hbulow@purdue.edu 

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