The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Meadows Museum to unveil new sculpture plaza

After a five-year renovation, the Meadows Museum will introduce its new sculpture plaza Oct. 7

The Meadows Museum will unveil its new sculpture plaza Oct. 7, which will showcase the museum’s artwork in an improved setting.

Meadows Museum Director Dr. Mark Roglán said visitors found the old plaza unpleasant.  The previous area, a sparse expanse of cement, was a poor environment to view the museum’s sculptures in. Light would reflect off the ground and cause a blinding effect, he said, and during the summer months it would be too hot for patrons to stay outside.

The design for the new plaza includes trees, planters and as much grass as the structure can handle to eliminate the past problems and to make the space more intimate.  The museum’s sculpture collection will be placed in sections around the plaza, and the planters can be moved to accommodate new exhibits.  The area will be lit at night, and a fountain has been added to flow with the new staircase.

The plaza will also feature an area to view one of the museum’s most popular pieces: “Wave,” by Santiago Calatrava.  Roglán said for years, museum visitors were only able to view “Wave” from the side, but the new plaza will allow visitors to see it from the top, as the sculptor intended.

The museum will also open a new exhibit, “Face and Form,” to coincide with the plaza’s opening.  The sculptures that had either been moved inside the museum or placed in storage will be cleaned and unveiled with the plaza.

“The sculpture will never look as good as it will on the 7th,” Roglán said.

A main focus of the exhibit will be a new acquisition, “Sho,” a monumental sculpture of a girl’s face by Jaume Plensa.  In keeping with the tradition of Meadows Museum, the artist personally chose that particular sculpture for the collection.

“Plensa was the perfect choice,” said Bridget Marx, Meadows Museum collections manager. 

According to Marx, the exhibit celebrates “all things sculpture” and will include work on paper by or of sculptors. Another aspect of the exhibit includes a making-of “Sho” and “Wave,” which shows step-by-step processes in the construction of each sculpture.

Student and Meadows Museum Jordan Intern Miranda Dunn has high hopes for the plaza.

“It’ll be a great environment for sketching, as we will see the return of our wonderful sculpture collection as well as a new acquisition by Jaume Plensa,” she said. “I think that the SMU campus has a lot of great outdoor spaces for students to enjoy, and I know that this will be my personal favorite.”

The plaza’s renovation, a five-year process, is part of SMU’s Second Century Campaign, an effort to improve the quality of the campus’ students, faculty, academics and overall campus experience. Architect Thomas Krähenbühl of TKTR architects designed the new sculpture plaza, and Santiago Calatrava helped with initial suggestions for the area.

Dallas philanthropic leaders who contributed to the plaza include the Eugene McDermott Foundation, Jake and Nancy Hamon, The Pollock Foundation, the Meadows Foundation, the family of Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Pollock, and the family of Mr. Lawrence S. Pollock III, in honor of Shirley Pollock.

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