JWU Wildcat Monument

Submitted by Mike Fields

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Client: Johnson & Wales University

Location: Providence, RI, United States

Completion date: 2014

Project Team

Artist

Mike Fields

Mike Fields Sculpture LLC

Other

Valley Bronze Inc

Valley Bronze Inc

Overview

In 2013 Johnson & Wales University commissioned Mike Fields to create a signature mascot sculpture to represent their four campuses in Providence RI, Denver CO, Charlotte NC and Miami FL. The four monuments would act as a source of school pride and symbol for their athletic program.
The wildcat monument is 12’ high on a massive 50 ton slab of solid granite. It was important to JWU that the students participate with the monument and the unique solution of having the pedestal act as seating for the students helped meet this goal.

Goals

Mike visited the site location and took photographs in which he could superimpose the sculpture at various stages of development to ensure proper positioning and integration. Mikes unique approach of sculpting the beginning stages of the wildcat using digital software allowed for greater design flexibility and enabled an ongoing visual dialogue with the JWU committee to ensure the goals of the project were met, and even adjusted to, when they changed. "Not only is Mike a talented artist, he possesses business skills that have endeared him to those at the university who have joined us in the Wildcat Statue Project. In particular, Mike:
• Has an incredible eye for detail, not just aesthetically, but from a business perspective as well;
• Met deadlines quite easily;
• Communicated well and consistently;
• Displayed a high level of professionalism throughout the project;
• Treated every JWU employee with whom he worked with respect and patience; and
• Created a high-quality, stunning product that is admired by everyone on our campus.
- Chancellor Bowen 77'

Process

Mike worked extensively with the committee to help define the goals of the wildcat and ensure that they were formulated and met in a consistent way. It is sometimes easier to put together a list of attributes and goals than it is to ensure that they will give a consistent and cohesive statement when translated into form.
“Mike is unique as he is extraordinarily creative and talented artistically, yet he understands client relations and efficiency. From the very beginning, we knew Mike was the right choice as he listened, questioned us and worked hard to fully grasp our vision. As a result, he was infinitely successful in capturing our wants and needs in the Wildcat statue. It is without a doubt that this Wildcat is ours – the results of a true team effort between Mike and the university.” Chancellor Bowen ‘77