Texas Tech Public Art Program Named One of Ten Best

DATE: May 18, 2006
CONTACT: Scott Slemmons, scott.slemmons@ttu.edu
(806) 742-2136

LUBBOCK – Texas Tech University's Public Art Collection and Program has been named one of the top 10 university public art collections in the nation by Public Art Review magazine.

The magazine includes an article covering its choices for the ten best programs in the current spring/summer issue, which focuses on campus art nationwide.

Cecilia Carter Browne, public art manager for the Texas Tech University System, said the recognition is an important acknowledgment of the program's success.

"It’s remarkable because we have a very young program here at Texas Tech," said Carter Browne. "We only really got started in May 2001, so something like this is a great source of pride for the University Public Art Program, as well as outstanding exposure for Texas Tech."

“We have public art associated with our Lubbock and Amarillo campuses, and we have an artist beginning work on our El Paso campus, too," Carter Browne added. "We are working with some of today’s leading artists. It is a growing treasure trove of public art that stresses the importance of the arts in our daily lives and fosters a culture of learning. I believe Texas Tech’s University Public Art Collection will demonstrate how the arts can stimulate the cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of a campus and community."

Artists whose works are included on the Lubbock campus also have praised Texas Tech's program.

"I think people are going to take notice of Lubbock, just because of this program," said Jes?roles, a Texas sculptor whose monumental granite works at Texas Tech include "Lapstrake" and "Square Spiral Arch: A Portal of Discovery."

"By the end of the year, there will be no collection in Texas that will rival the Texas Tech collection."

Mike Mandel, an artist whose monumental photorealistic mosaic work is in Texas Tech’s Jones AT&T Stadium, added praise.

“In contrast to some other major universities who only invite the usual suspects, Texas Tech has commissioned a significant roster of artists of great range to create a rich program in a part of the country where art is needed the most,” he said.

Numerous university collections and programs were nominated, and then the top ten were selected by members of the Americans for the Arts' Public Art Network.

The other universities named to the list include Arizona State University in Tempe, Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Pratt Institute in New York City, the University of California in San Diego, the University of South Florida in Tampa, the University of Minnesota, Western Washington University and Wichita State University.

“We are extremely honored to be listed along side these wonderful collections,” said Carter Browne. “Some of these universities have been building their public art collections for decades.”

Public Art Review is sold by subscription and on their website at http://www.publicartreview.org.

Publicly accessible art sited on college campuses is a centuries-old tradition, and Texas Tech continues and literally “builds” on that tradition through its own percent-for-art program. The university allocates 1 percent of the estimated total cost of each new construction project and each repair and rehabilitation project that exceeds $500,000 for the acquisition of public art. An additional 1 percent is set aside for landscape enhancements.

CONTACT: Cecilia Carter Browne, public art manager, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-1170, extension 319, or e-mail cecilia.carter@ttu.edu.