February 2010

Question:

Dear Abbot Pennings,

As I was giving my five-year-old daughter a quick walking tour of campus this past weekend, we came upon a sculpture in front of JMS that I think it used to be in front of Main Hall. I am wondering what it’s called, when it was installed and how much it cost.


Brian Kerhin ’92

Answer:

Dear Brian,

It gladdens my heart to know that you were able to give your dear daughter a tour of our beautiful campus. I pray that she, one day, considers walking the same path to an education at St. Norbert College.

The story of the sculpture you reference begins in 1973, when plans to convert Second St. into the Roemer Mall were being spoken of, and a local bank had donated money for a piece of public art.

A planning committee of five members was established and, in January 1974, offered a prize of $5,000 to the artist submitting the winning design. The contest was open to any Wisconsin artist and all St. Norbert alumni. 

A young man by the name of Stanford Stein, a designer working with a Milwaukee firm, fabricated the untitled sculpture out of 19 colored Plexiglass modules. An intriguing piece, it was designed to catch the reflections of its environment, including surrounding movements. The color scheme was planned to complement Main Hall and surrounding buildings, since the sculpture was first placed in those environs.

Responses to “Ask the Abbot” questions are penned by St. Norbert College staff in the name of Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., who founded St. Norbert College in 1898.