SOCORRO, N.M., September 14, 2000 -- Masayuki Nagase's design concept, "Passage of the Earth and Sky," has been selected as the top candidate from a field of 45 art proposals which were vying for a state grant to create an original, interactive public artwork on the New Mexico Tech campus.
Nagase's large-scale, environmental sculpture, a landscape composition of boulders, inter-weaving paths, and sand and lawn areas, recently was chosen by a selection committee to provide "a fun and welcoming setting" in an area just south of the university's Macey Conference Center.
The renowned stone sculptor, who is based in Berkeley, Calif., estimates that it will take anywhere from six to seven months to complete the $112,000 project.
"My main source of inspiration is the essence of Nature and the multiple images and forms which represent universal symbols of life," Nagase says. "As a starting point for my design concept, I began to look at the natural characteristics of the region of Socorro. This region has many significant and contrasting features, from the high desert to the nearby oasis at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge to the presence of the Rio Grande."
Funding for the new environmental sculpture on the Tech campus is made available through the Art in Public Places Program of New Mexico Arts, a division of the Office of Cultural Affairs.
The Art in Public Places Program, in turn, is funded through New Mexico's "One Percent for the Arts" legislation, which mandates that one percent of the costs of state-funded capital projects be set aside to provide funding for public art projects.
Financial support covering the total cost of the proposed public art project on the New Mexico Tech campus was derived from the construction of the university's Jones Hall Annex and the Weir and Cramer halls renovation projects.