Four Faces

Submitted by Michael Stutz

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Client: Texas Tech University Lubbock

Location: Lubbock, TX, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $325,000

Project Team

Artist

Michael Stutz

Public Art Agent

Erin Vaden

Landscape Architect

Ross John Narvaeth

Office of the Texas Tech University

Overview

Four Faces celebrate the diversity and experience of college life using human faces to explore identity and diversity. The 7 feet tall, 6 feet wide, fabricated silicon bronze structures are very interactive, allowing students to look through the eyes, and climb atop the necessarily robust forms. The sculptures create an event space, filling an underutilized area of the residence hall, and are one of the first things one sees entering the South entrance to Texas Tech's Lubbock campus.

Goals

The artwork brings an organic presence to the institutional building that is Talkington Residence Hall. The sculptures face the western sun that strikes the grassy plaza every afternoon. This allows shadows and contrasts to create dramatic views from the upper floor windows of the dormitory. The building and landscaping were largely complete by the time the artist entered contract, so the artwork uses color and the bronze material to integrate with the traditional design. Yet the meandering pathway encourages a visit to the carnivalesque sculptures, and breaks up the rigid formal balance of the site landscaping. Four Faces are an engaging counterpart to the site plan. Walking around the faces, one sees they are open in the back, showcasing the finely crafted intricacy of their construction, and offering a chance to see ‘behind the mask.” Students can find themselves in the Faces.

Process

Texas Tech has one of the top University Public art collections in The United States. Everyone involved in this project wanted to bring an iconic, identifying presence to residence hall and south entrance. The artist, the university public art coordinator and landscape architects, and staff at Talkington Hall worked to identify the content and location of the installation. The artist's studio fabricated the sculptures, and worked with local contractors to build the structural concrete pads and decomposed granite pathway elements.

Additional Information

This project was completed in October 2013.