University of Rochester

Rochester Review
September–October 2013
Vol. 76, No. 1

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Sculpted SpacesThe Memorial Art Gallery embarks on its next 100 years of cultural leadership with the opening of Centennial Sculpture Park.


castleFUN FAMILY: Memorial Art Gallery patron Joan Feinbloom sits with artist Wendell Castle among the pieces of Unicorn Family, Castle’s sculpture for Centennial Sculpture Park, during a celebration marking the park’s formal dedication. (Photo: Adam Fenster)


magSCULPTURAL STORIES: Sculptor Albert Paley (foreground) puts some of the finishing touches on Soliloquy, his commissioned piece for Centennial Sculpture Park. The 25-foot polychrome stainless steel sculpture will be installed late this summer. (Photo: Adam Fenster)


magEPIC TALE: Creation Myth, a site-specific commission by sculptor Tom Otterness, tells the story of an artist—depicted by figurines that dot the park—who is trying to bring a larger work of art to life. (Photo: Adam Fenster)


magWALK THIS WAY: Featuring walkways commissioned from artist Jackie Ferrara—including Path of Colors, a red and orange brick pathway that connects Goodman Street and University Avenue with the gallery’s main entrance. (Photo: Adam Fenster)


magLINGER: Covering about 10 acres of the gallery’s 17-acre campus, the park is designed as an urban space, where visitors are encouraged to linger. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

When the doors to the Memorial Art Gallery opened 100 years ago this fall, the museum’s chief benefactor, Emily Sibley Averell Watson, had one important stipulation: that the doors be open to all citizens of the community. Watson’s belief that a world-class museum enriches the cultural and civic life of the community is taking new shape this year with the opening of Centennial Sculpture Park, a 10-acre showcase of public art and landscaped urban space designed to celebrate the gallery’s cultural leadership as well as to build stronger ties to the gallery’s surrounding neighborhoods.

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With installations by four internationally recognized sculptors anchoring the grounds around the gallery, the new park features sculptures from the gallery’s collections, interactive walkways, whimsical gathering places, and venues for public performances—all integrated with other arts and cultural initiatives such as ARTWalk, an effort to transform the Neighborhood of the Arts into an outdoor museum.

The gallery will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a public birthday party on the grounds of the museum on Sunday, Oct. 13.