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Tiger sculpture art tied to ArtsFest

Thursday, November 2, 2006

(Photo)
White tiger one of 15 around DPU campus
In William Blake's famous poem "The Tyger," he writes, "Tyger, tyger burning bright In the forests of the night."

Well, the tiger sculptures scattered around DePauw University are certainly burning bright as they represent different groups, organizations and individuals on campus.

According to Gigi Fenlon, coordinator of arts publicity and marketing, the primary purpose for the tigers was to heighten awareness of ArtsFest 2006: Art and the Silk Road. They were also to showcase the talents of the DePauw community.

Fenlon also said that the project was in response to the destruction of the deer covered in crystals that was installed last year. Within the span of one week, the antlers of the art sculpture were broken and the legs were split after several students climbed up to ride the statue. The deer was sent back to the artist to be fixed and it cost the university a hefty amount of money.

Several students informed the faculty and staff that the deer was odd for the campus and that they did not know what it was for, especially since it was installed while they were away for fall break.

So to prevent future incidents, the faculty and staff decided to introduce the project at the beginning of the semester. They also invited all members of the DePauw community to submit design proposals for 15 tigers.

Thirty proposals were received by a committee of students representing all creative and performing arts departments and programs. The committee then narrowed it down to 15 groups, organizations and individuals who were awarded the sponsorship based on the merit of their proposals.

Some of the proposals that were chosen included Tom Chiarella and "The Paper Tiger," Advanced Sculpture II class and "The Rideable Tiger," Amira Korkor and "The Universal Language" tiger and One by One and the "AIDS Awareness" tiger.

These groups, organizations and individuals also had creative ways to decorate the tigers. For example, the student newspaper The DePauw decorated their "First Amendment Tiger" by writing out questions that deal with the First Amendment, while the Philosophy Club wrote out the big questions on the meaning of life for their "Big Questions" tiger and student Elizabeth Straebel used the words and illustrations from Blake's poem.

The tiger sculptures, made out of concrete, were created by Stone and Steel, a local company owned by Jacob Stanley, a former DePauw art student.

The tigers were installed in various locations throughout the campus on Oct. 26. The tigers will stay out until the end of the ArtsFest on Sunday, Nov. 5.

Fenlon said that she has received several requests for the tigers to stay out longer. Fenlon said she thinks the tigers might stay out until the students leave for Thanksgiving Break, but no longer than that. Since the tigers do not have an interior steel structure, they are not intended to stay permanently on the lawns.

Maps of the tigers locations are available at the DePauw Union Building and the Roy O. West Library. For more information, contact Fenlon at 658-4485 or at gfenlon@depauw.edu.



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