Fine art on the Esplanade?

Jessica White

Ohio artists display work at KSU.

Three new sculptures will stand along the University Esplanade next semester.

The pieces, all by artists from Ohio, will be the first on Kent State’s new “Sculpture Mile.”

“We’re adding artwork along the Esplanade, but we’re hoping to continue the path into the city,” said Beth Ruffing, assistant director to the Office of the University Architect.

Still, it’s not a city project.

The money for the sculptures comes from the Ohio Percent for Art Program, Ruffing said. By Ohio law, 1 percent of the money spent on major construction projects must be set aside for the purchase of public art.

Ruffing added the budget for the pieces was drawn from the renovations of Kent and Franklin halls.

The three artists are each being commissioned at $90,000.

The three pieces will be:

• “The Witnesses” by Giancarlo Calicchia of Cleveland, which is an arrangement of sculpted granite boulders to be placed outside Kent Hall.

• “Eye to Eye” by Barry Gunderson of Gambia, which will be two silhouettes looking into each other’s eyes — a response to what goes on in the human mind and a tribute to Kent Hall and the Psychology Department. It will be located near Kent Hall.

• “Starsphere 2010” by Susan Ewing of Oxford, which is a star encompassed by rings, scripted with the First Amendment — a response to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication — to be outside Franklin Hall.

The artists were chosen by a committee of local administrators and Kent State faculty.

“The decision process wasn’t too difficult,” Ruffing said. “I’m very excited about the results.”

And students are excited, too.

Megan Melville, a freshman electronic media production major, looks forward to seeing the artwork during daily walks to class.

“It’s a really neat idea,” she said. “It’ll give people something to talk about, especially because each piece has meaning behind it.”

Contact news correspondent Jessica White at [email protected].