Sculpture park at GSU turns 35
March 21, 2013 11:10AM
Jene Highstein’s “Flyer Saucer” at the 2012 Carts & Cocktails celebration at Governors State University's Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park in University Park. | Supplied photo
Updated: April 25, 2013 6:10AM
Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State University has reached another milestone: 35 years as one of the nation’s unique art museums.
Since its establishment in 1978, the park has grown into a major collection of 28 works set within the wild prairie swales of the GSU campus, 1 University Parkway, University Park.
Important works by renowned modern artists, combined with the park’s breathtaking landscape, make the park unlike any other outdoor artistic venue.
“Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park stands at a new dawn,” curator and director Geoffrey Bates said. “Its collection and siting are considered among the most significant in the country. Going forward, we are exploring new exhibition proposals, innovative programs and exciting strategies for engaging the world at large. We’re looking forward to the next 35 years.”
The park originally was known as the Governors State University Center for Monumental Sculpture. From the creation of a single sculpture, “Yes! for Lady Day,” assembled by National Medal of Arts awardee Mark diSuvero in 1968 and 1969, the number and scale of artworks have grown considerably.
Early leaders were Lewis Manilow, Bill Dodd and former GSU presidents William Engbretson and Leo Goodman-Malamuth.
In the early 2000s, Dr. Ora Simcha-Fagan found funding for conservation of major pieces and worked to commission four works by important Illinois artists through the Capital Development Board’s Percent for Art program.
For more information about tour schedules and 35th anniversary events, visit www.govst.edu/sculpture.