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Public art at ASU rated among the nation's top 10


June 09, 2006

Some say sports and art don't mix, but ASU – home to Pac-10 sports and 61,000 students – now belongs to the “Big Ten” of public art programs in the nation.

Public Art Review, considered the leading magazine in the field of public art, announced in its 2006 “Art on Campus” issue that ASU has one of the best public art collections in America. The magazine polled 500 public art professionals and artists to reveal the best for its “Big Ten” article.

“At ASU, public art is a part of campus life,” says Dianne Cripe, director for the Office of Public Art in the Herberger College of Fine Arts. “The depression-era Arizona murals build pride of place. The contemporary art challenges, amuses and informs.”

Public Art Review recognized ASU's program for its permanent collection, exhibitions and opportunities for student artists – such as the Certificate in Public Art Program for artists and arts administrators entering the field.

ASU's newest public artwork, “Prickly/Prickly/Prickly/Prickly/Spiny” (2005), was pictured in the “Big Ten” article. The work, designed by artists Andrea Myklebust and Stanton Sears, includes five hand-carved limestone columns embossed with desert plant and lizard textures, and is surrounded by an acre of Sonoran desert landscaping.

The work is the gateway to a seven-story parking structure that opened on the Tempe campus in 2005. It received an award of merit from Valley Forward, a Phoenix nonprofit organization that promotes environmental improvement and livability issues.

Other universities included in the “Big Ten” of public art include the University of California-San Diego; Western Washington University; the Pratt Institute; Wichita State University; the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis/St. Paul; the University of Florida-Tampa; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Texas Tech University; and Johnson (Kan.) County Community College.

For more information, visit the Web site (http://herbergercollege.asu.edu/public_art/public_art.html ) or call (480) 965-0951