May 5, 2016  

College of Veterinary Medicine sponsors Bison-tennial Bison sculpture

VetMed bison

This 5-foot-tall, 8-foot long fiberglass bison sculpture, painted by West Lafayette artist Elizabeth Lincourt, is being sponsored by the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine as part of the Indiana Bison-tennial Public Art Project. It will be on display at the corner of Oval Drive and State Street, across from Stone Hall, from Monday (May 9) through Dec. 11. (College of Veterinary Medicine photo/Kevin Doerr)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — As part of Indiana's bicentennial celebration, Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine is sponsoring a Bison-tennial bison sculpture. It is one of five in Tippecanoe County and will be displayed Monday (May 9) through Dec. 11 on campus.

The 5-foot-tall, 8-foot long fiberglass sculpture, painted by West Lafayette artist Elizabeth Lincourt, will be at the corner of Oval Drive and State Street, across from Stone Hall. The location will be along the route of the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay on Oct. 12 when the relay comes through Tippecanoe County. Purdue University engineering students designed the torch.

The sculpture, which will stand on a 2-foot-tall fiberglass base, will be moved to a permanent location near the College of Veterinary Medicine after Dec. 11.

"Sponsoring a Bison-tennial sculpture provides the College of Veterinary Medicine with an important engagement opportunity, especially with Purdue's prominent place in Indiana history, as the state's Land Grant institution, " said Willie Reed, dean of the college. "As beautifully painted by Elizabeth Lincourt, our bison sculpture provides an opportunity to showcase the importance of the human-animal bond and the college's role as the 'guardians of the bond.' "

Lincourt's design features a rural Indiana scene with animal tracks superimposed along with several words from the Veterinarian's Oath, and the message, "We're all on this path together. "Lincourt nicknamed the sculpture "Max."

"Situated in the center of campus, Max will provide a beautiful landmark signifying the intertwined history of people and animals in Indiana and the College of Veterinary Medicine's role in protecting, promoting and advancing the animal-human bond," Reed said.

The Indiana Association of United Ways, in partnership with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, is coordinating the Bison-tennial Public Art Project. The project aims to help celebrate Indiana's 200th birthday by decorating and displaying fiberglass bison with the goal of at least one – if not a herd – of bison on display in each of Indiana's 92 counties.

Bison were abundant until about 1800 in large portions of the Indiana Territory, according to the book "Early Indiana: Trails and Surveys," by George R. Wilson. A bison is featured prominently in Indiana's state seal.

The College of Veterinary Medicine has been associated with sculptures and other pieces of art in the past. In 2009, as part its 50th anniversary celebration, the college and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette sponsored the "Dog Days of Summer," in which more than 40 dog sculptures were painted by artists and displayed from May to September in downtown Lafayette, West Lafayette and on the Purdue campus. Two of those sculptures are part of a collection of art in Lynn Hall.

That collection also includes an art installation, "Rockette the Circus Bear," that the college received last fall, and several paintings by the college's faculty and staff.

The other four Bison-tennial bison sculptures' sponsors, artists and locations:

* Sen. Ronnie Alting, artists Lorie Amick and LaDonna Vohar, Fourth and Columbia streets on the courthouse lawn.

* Bison Financial Group, artist Angela Taylor, Ninth and Main streets by Bison Financial Group.

* Sgt. Preston of the North, artist Elizabeth Lincourt, Second St., in front of Sgt. Preston's.

* Undercover Storage, artists Sunny Miller and Linda Vanderkolk, North Ninth Street Road in front of Undercover Storage. 

Contact: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Sources: Willie M. Reed, 765-494-7608, wreed@purdue.edu

Kevin Doerr, director of public affairs and communications, College of Veterinary Medicine, doerrkr@purdue.edu 

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