Purdue University North Central is proud to showcase this celebration of more than a decade of sculpture on its campus. An impromptu visit in 1998 with the late Chancellor Dr. Dale Alspaugh was the impetus for the debut of a sculpture exhibition in 1999 which was to become Odyssey. In 2000, newly arrived Chancellor, Dr. James B. Dworkin, embraced the project as a natural extension of a Purdue University education and as a welcome addition to PNC's extraordinarily beautiful campus. This natural and cultivated setting, which evolved under the direction of then Vice Chancellor for Special Projects, G. William Back, continues with the dedicated support of our PNC leadership.
Sculpture in our history has always reflected the times in which it was created and has traditionally been the vision of one artist. As we begin our journey into the 21st century, new technologies, faster communication and the introduction of modern materials will continue to enable future sculptors to formulate their ideas and create works of art that will be relevant and powerful. With materials such as raw steel, stainless, aluminum, concrete, bronze, glass, light, wood, stone and earth, some 75 sculptors have created works that engage the viewer from many perspectives, in fixed positions, at different speeds of travel, during all hours of day and night.
Artists and visitors have spoken of the wonderful relationship between the sculptures and the glorious environment here. Throughout the past 13 years, those involved have admitted to learning more about the world through the portal of sculpture then they ever imagined possible! Thus far, our sculptors and artists have helped us gain a better understanding of the concepts and methods behind their work, sometimes forcing us to investigate further specific subjects as history, physics, ecology, mythology, international trade, chemistry, biology, music, aeronautics, philosophy, psychology, politics geography, religious and spiritual studies, sociology, anthropology and art history. We have learned much about structure, engineering, materials management, construction, concrete pours, boom trucks, forklift acrobatics and even beekeeping!
PNC has a great admiration for our sculptors who have labored for the sake of art. Despite the fact that, for most of them, making sculpture is not a highly profitable pursuit, they create because they are compelled to by their nature and impressive talent. Many have expressed that there is no other place like PNC for their art and they are thrilled their journey brought them here.
Many view these works with wonder and curiosity; our PNC family has found their surroundings more enriching and enjoyable because of the ever changing sculpture exhibits. For thousands of visiting primary through secondary school students who come to explore and study our sculpture exhibit, this may be their first view of a college campus. Many schools come back again and again, reinforcing this great experience. It is thrilling to have children run toward their favorite pieces, remembering them by name. For some, we anticipate PNC will be their college of choice.