Johnson & Wales University Unveils New Sculpture
Friday, October 17, 2014
“From the start, we wanted to create a public art sculpture that would invite student and visitor interaction,” said Kathleen Harney, JWU’s First Lady and liaison to the university’s Public Art Committee. “Just as importantly, we wanted the design to embody the four tenets of the Johnson & Wales’ Wildcat Way: pride, courage, character and community. The statue’s confident pose is inspiring to our students as they strive to achieve their goals and dreams, while sitting on the pedestal gives them a spot for quiet reflection. We are so pleased to welcome the newest wildcat to our campus as we conclude our centennial year celebration.”
Johnson & Wales’ campuses in North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. will also welcome identical wildcat statues in the coming months. The wildcat has been the JWU mascot since the 1960s, though in the early 1990s until 1997, a griffin (a mythological figure) served temporarily as the school’s mascot.
The statue is anchored on a low-rise pedestal, encouraging students to sit on the bench-like perimeter. The sculpture weighs in at 5,000 pounds with its pedestal at 44,000 pounds, creating a monument of just under 50,000 pounds.
Mike Fields of Washington state served as the sculptor. His previous work includes a cougar monument commissioned for Washington State University.
Detailed photographs of the design and creation of the statue can be found here.
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