New Public Art Brings Message to Campus

Artist David B. Hickman created five sculptures resembling messenger pigeons surrounded by benches.

Written by Jaryn Jones

The Messengers.

The Messengers is located in the quad south of the College of Media & Communication Building.

Texas Tech University System officials announced in May the latest installment to its system-wide public art collection, The Messengers, designed by artist David B. Hickman.

Hickman created a circular plaza located in the quad south of the College of Media and Communication Building (15th Street and Flint Avenue). The area contains five contemporary sculptures surrounded by ten limestone benches.

“My inspiration for this piece came from the different ways we communicate,” Hickman said. “The messenger pigeons go back to the earliest forms of communication, and the basic tools for human communication, our five senses, are represented on the tail of each sculpture.”

This is the first kinetic piece in the TTU System art collection. The five sculptures move with the wind, aligning like large weather vanes as the breeze changes directions.

Artist David B. Hickman

David B. Hickman

“The addition of a kinetic sculpture signifies the University Public Art Committee’s effort to diversify and thereby strengthen the collection,” said Erin Vaden, TTU System Public Art Manager. “These sculptures also represent the artist’s conscious attempt to produce something that would thrive in Lubbock’s windy conditions, rather than be harmed by them.”

The limestone benches are arranged in two circles surrounding the sculptures, with each bench of the outer ring engraved with one word to complete the sentence “Think About How You Communicate.”

“The benches encourage you to not only think about the various ways we communicate – the five senses – but to also consider the impact of your words,” Hickman said.

As part of the TTU System’s Public Art Program, this artwork was commissioned using funds from the renovation of the former Rawls College of Business Administration building, which now houses the College of Media and Communication.

“Campus art enriches experiences and memories for students,” Hickman said. “I hope the area will serve as a landmark students remember as they look back on their time at Texas Tech.”

A native Texan, Hickman served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Sculpture Association for three years and the board of the Dallas Visual Arts Center for six years. He was selected by the Texas Commission on the Arts as the Texas State Artist Three-Dimensional category for the year 2004 and was selected by the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects as Artist of the Year in 2005.

The TTU System’s Public Art Program was initiated by the Board of Regents in 1998 as an investment in the campus environments at each of its institutions. Through the program, public artworks are funded using one percent of the estimated total cost of each new major capital project. Since then, 88 items created by some of today’s leading artists have been added to the TTU System’s campuses.

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