CSU–Pueblo to dedicate ‘Passage’ Art in Public Places Project

Five steel gateways reminiscent of the goals used in sports like football and soccer now adorn the sidewalk west of the new Student Recreation Center and Health, Physical Education and Recreation buildings at Colorado State University-Pueblo in accordance with the Art in Public Places program coordinated by the Colorado Council for the Arts.

The artist as well as representatives from the University, the selection committee, and the Colorado Council for the Arts will dedicate the completed project at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, October 27. Refreshments will be available following a ceremonial walk through the five gateway arches.

In 1977, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Art in Public Places Act, requiring that one percent of the construction cost of new or renovated state-owned buildings be set aside for the acquisition of works of art for the project site. In July of 2007, the University broke ground on a new, student-funded $10.1 million Student Recreation Center, which opened in late August. In February, the University completed a $12.1 million renovation of its Health, Physical Education, and Recreation building. The Colorado Council on the Arts Art in Public Places Committee approved Ken Bernstein’s Passage proposal last October at a cost of $153,000. The budget came from both building projects and the combined artwork is intended to visually connect the two buildings.

According to Bernstein, the project called for artwork that would serve as a way finding device between the two buildings and would transport people between the buildings in an artful way. He also hoped to incorporate the project into the landscape and the modern sensibility of the campus architecture.

“Many levels of interpretation exist with the passage through gateways, especially on a college campus, because education can transport people to another world, to another chapter in their lives,” he said.

Bernstein’s proposal incorporates five steel gateways (see attached drawings) along the path from the new Student Recreation Center to the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Building. The corridor of gateways, made of 3/8” corten steel plate, has a natural rust finish. Individuals will interact with the art physically by walking around and through it. The gateways symbolize that education – both mental and physical – is the pathway to a better life for many individuals. The gateways are reminiscent of the goals in several sports events like football, hockey and soccer, an appropriate pathway for a sports complex. Several
groupings of large stone surround the arches for seating throughout and around the gateways, which are illuminated by solar lighting.

The Art Selection Committee -- led through the process by Jil Rosentrater, Director of Art in Public Places, Colorado Council on the Arts, and staff member, Jacquelyn Connolly -- included John Barnosky, architect for the Student Recreation Center; Alain Dalmau (the University’s Project Manager for both projects); Kathy Spurck with Gifford-Spurck Architects on the H.P.E.R. project; Vice President for Finance and Administration Joanne Ballard; Art Professor and interim dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Roy Sonnema; Dr. Carol Foust, chair of the department of exercise science, health promotion, and recreation; Scott Robertshaw, director of the Experiential Learning Center; community representative Linda Stachler, State Representative “Buffie” McFadyen and State Senator Abel Tapia,and Beverly Mason from Colorado Council on the Arts.

The committee met three times before deciding upon Bernstein’s proposal. Bernstein’s proposal was selected from 25 total artist submissions and four finalists, who presented design proposals. The call was open to Colorado artists only.

About the Artist:
Ken Bernstein creates site specific fine art. He received a B.A. degree in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado in 1975. He has worked as a professional artist in Colorado for more than 20 years. His murals, mosaics, and paintings have been public art commissions and also are in private and corporate collections both nationally and internationally. He is a member of the Artist Design Resource Team for the Art in Public Places Program in Loveland, CO, and has received grants from the Arts and Humanities of Boulder, the Boulder Arts Commission, the Colorado Council on the Arts, and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. He works in a classical approach to drawing that includes anatomy, technique, and observation.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.