A painting by the famous Renoir. A sculpture by National Medal of Arts honoree Jesús Moroles (’78). A dump truck filled with native Texas plants, making a statement about water conservation. Those are but three of the 36 artworks on UNT Art Path — a self-guided walking tour of art on campus. A color-coded, pocket-sized map now gives visitors the story behind the art.
“Artworks have been important elements of the university for many years,” says UNT Art Gallery Director Tracee W. Robertson (’94), who directed the project. “The tour introduces people to artworks or spaces they hadn’t noticed before and provides new information about favorite pieces.”
The two-part tour starts with artist Gerald Balciar’s bronze eagle, In High Places, outside the Hurley Administration Building. Visitors will see other eagle sculptures inside the building before heading out to the Library Mall and inside Willis Library, where Renoir’s painting hangs in the Rare Book Room.
The tour also highlights works of faculty, alumni and students — including two student oil paintings in the General Academic Building. Those student works were purchased in 2009 by the Art in Public Places Committee with a grant from Wells Fargo.
Other works include well-known artist Daniel Bozhkov’s Rainmakers’ Workshop, a rainwater catchment system. The piece, created in conjunction with the UNT WaterWays conference, features a dump truck filled with native Texas plants irrigated with water runoff from the Art Building’s roof.
In all, the first leg of the tour includes 26 pieces in eight buildings. The final piece on this part of the tour is artist Francoise Grossen’s large knotted sculpture, Tensile Ten, a wall hanging in the University Union.
A 15-minute walk takes visitors to the second part of the tour, where they will see Diamondback Ruin Totem by Moroles outside Gateway Center, three bronze sculptures outside Mozart Square and a sculpture, painted portraits and stained-glass light sconces inside the Murchison Performing Arts Center.
“Individually, the works on the tour mark milestones, such as the university centennial; they honor faculty contributions and student accomplishments; and they make statements about contemporary life,” Robertson says. “Together, they tell part of the story of UNT.”
Works on the tour have been acquired through donations, student projects, purchases and commissions. The Art in Public Places program was initiated in 2009 to integrate new artworks into the campus environment.
You can pick up UNT Art Path brochures in the University Union Information Center, the Office of the Dean in the Art Building, UNT on the Square and the Alumni Center at Gateway Center. Docent-led tours are available by appointment. For information, contact Robertson or Eva James Toia, development director for the College of Visual Arts and Design, at 940-565-4001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who contributed to the UNT Art Path project are Robertson; Katherine Stewart, an undergraduate art history student who conducted the research on the artworks; Victoria DeCuir (’97, ’05 M.A.), assistant director of exhibitions and collections at the UNT Art Gallery; and designer Karen SG Milnes. The Art Path tour will be updated as new works are added and iconic spaces are created on campus through the Art in Public Places program.