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NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of the artist's model of the revised skywalk
design are available by calling (319) 384-0070, or through the internet
UI Art on Campus Committee approves revised design for skywalk
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Art on Campus Committee today
unanimously approved a revised design by artist Siah Armajani for the skywalk
connecting the UI Biological Sciences Building with a new biology building
currently under construction across Dubuque Street.
The artist's model of the new design, which Armajani presented to the
committee at today's meeting, will be placed on display at the UI Museum
of Art later this week.
Armajani's design for the skywalk, which the artist said was inspired
in part by Iowa's barns, silos and covered bridges, was first presented
to community organizations and the general public on July 24, 1997.
With the acceptance of the revised design, work on the skywalk will
go forward as part of a building project that will include the new building
at the corner of Iowa Avenue and Dubuque Street, as well as remodeling
of the current Biological Sciences Building. The new building and the skywalk
are expected to be completed in early 2000.
Stephen Prokopoff, chair of the committee and director of the UI Museum
of Art, commented: "The final version of Siah Armajani's bridge is
handsome, imaginative and gracefully evocative of our region. I think that
this fine work will make an important contribution to the community, underscoring
its receptivity to the new and the beautiful."
"The artist and architects have made a good faith effort to take
public comments into consideration, and they have also responded well to
concerns raised by members of the biological sciences department,"
said Wallace Tomasini of the school of art and art history, a member of
the Art on Campus Committee. "This is an elegant design."
Sheila Boyd, former chair of the board of the Iowa City Area Chamber
of Commerce, was pleased by the breadth of community representation on
the committee. "It's important to note that the University expanded
the Art on Campus committee to insure good community representation in
the review process," she said.
Estimated construction cost for the skywalk is $740,000. This figure
includes $555,000 for the skywalk itself and $185,000 for related costs
including site preparation and excavation, relocation of utility lines
and structural changes to the existing building. Armajani's design fee
of $125,000, which is separate from construction costs, will be funded
under the Art in State Buildings program.
Members of the Art on Campus Committee are Prokopoff; Tomasini and Hans
Breder, art and art history; David Dennis and Pamela White Trimpe, UI Museum
of Art; Richard Gibson, Facilities Services Group; Nancy Hauserman, management
and organizations; David Skorton, UI vice-president for research; Sheila
Boyd, president of Group Five Hospitality; Mark Ginsberg, owner of M.C.
Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc.; Jim Harris, owner of Prairie Lights Books;
Robert Sierk, president of First National Bank; Mary Keough Lyman and Joyce
Summerwill. In addition, two members of the biological sciences department,
Gary Gussin and Barbara Stay, have been serving on the committee to help
make decisions related to the biological sciences project.