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New Outdoor Sculpture Unveiled at Kent State Trumbull

Posted Aug. 1, 2011
Tetra Sculpture
Artist David Colbert's latest work, titled Tetra, was recently
unveiled at Kent State University at Trumbull.

Works of art are subjective, with the meaning differing for each viewer.

And so it is with artist David Colbert’s latest work, titled Tetra, which has recently been unveiled at Kent State University at Trumbull. Viewers may ask themselves, “Is it a sculpture, or is it a place to sit and relax, review an upcoming assignment or have lunch?”

In reality, it is all of the above.

The piece consists of six groups of polished stainless steel, truncated tetrahedrons, each containing one “table” and three “seats.” Those groups are placed so that together, they form one large triangle.

The grouping is placed on a circular bed of gravel, graded to create a horizontal space on the lawn. Around the perimeter of the circle, a trio of trees will be planted, which in time will provide shade for the ensemble.

The sculpture, which has been installed near the southwest corner of the Kent State Trumbull Technology Building, is part of the Ohio Arts Council’s Percent for Art program.

The program is based on legislation passed in 1990 by the Ohio Legislature. The law recognizes the state’s responsibility to foster culture and the arts and to encourage the development of artists and craftspeople.

The Percent for Art program provides funds for the acquisition, commissioning and installation of works of art for certain new or renovated public buildings. Whenever the legislature appropriates more than $4 million for a public building – such as the $11 million provided for the construction of Kent State Trumbull’s Technology Building – the law requires one percent of the total appropriation to be allocated for artwork. Since the legislation went into effect, many projects have been completed. Those projects have brought public art into many cities and small communities around Ohio. The Ohio Arts Council administers the state’s Percent for Art program.

Colbert’s work was chosen from a nationwide field of 53 artists who answered a 2009 call for proposals by the Ohio Arts Council on Kent State Trumbull’s behalf. In May 2010, a joint search committee of individuals from Kent State Trumbull and Kent State, as well as advisors from the Ohio Arts Council, began review of submissions, ultimately deciding on Colbert, who is based in Connecticut.

While installation of the sculpture and gravel surround is now complete, the perimeter trees will added in September, followed by a formal dedication ceremony.