This is a particularly exciting October for us at the ISC! We start the month with our 21st International Sculpture Conference—Sculpture in Public: Part 2, Public Art—at, and in conjunction with, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (October 2–4).
The Grand Rapids conference will begin with a keynote address by world-renowned sculptor Jaume Plensa (whose work will simultaneously be exhibited at the Meijer Sculpture Park in Plensa’s largest U.S. exhibition to date) and will provide panel discussions on a great many topics of interest. The popular Art Slam program will return, allowing artists to present their work for critique and discussion. Evening events and networking receptions will allow attendees to mingle among old friends and make new friends. In conjunction with the conference, the ISC is also delighted to have the opportunity to present the ISC Educator Award to Ron Pederson.
After Grand Rapids, the ISC will return home to New Jersey to honor this year’s winners of the ISC’s 2008 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards with an awards presentation and an opening reception for a six-month exhibition of the winners’ works hosted by Grounds For Sculpture (October 11, 2008–April 26, 2009). In addition to the exhibition, which is accompanied by a catalogue, winners receive a membership to the ISC and will have a chance to win a residency in Switzerland to study with distinguished sculptor Heinz Aeschlimann. The winners and their work are profiled in this issue of Sculpture.
The ISC established the student award program in 1994 to recognize deserving sculpture students and to encourage their continued commitment to the field of sculpture. Winners and honorable mentions are juried annually from hundreds of submissions from colleges and universities around the world. This year’s jurors included Mary Ceruti, director of the SculptureCenter, Robert Roesch, chair of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Art, and sculptor Dennis Oppenheim.
Although it is our belief that the ISC student award program and benefits are already of great value to the organization, the submitting schools and students, and, of course, the winners and honorable mentions, we are hoping to increase the value of this program even further in coming years by securing the funding and venues to allow the exhibition of the winners’ work to embark on a national (and perhaps international) tour after its annual opening at Grounds For Sculpture. It’s an ambitious endeavor but one that we feel will provide untold benefit to these young sculptors at the beginning of their professional careers.
Finally, we’ll wrap up the month with a tour of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty outside of Salt Lake City. Information about this “Friends” level event is available on-line.
We hope to see you in Grand Rapids, Hamilton, or Salt Lake City. After you’ve visited, don’t forget to drop us a line and let us know what you thought.
Chairman, ISC Board of Directors