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Artist Jesus Moroles to Create Large-scale Sculpture on Prexy's Pasture

May 21, 2008
Obelisk-like sculpture
Jesus Bautista Moroles' six and one half foot tall granite sculpture, "Eclipse" can be seen at the University of Wyoming Art Museum terrace.

Artist Jesus Moroles is creating a new, interactive work for "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational." His work, "Granite Windows," is located on Prexy's Pasture.

Made from a found steel tank, "Granite Windows" references the extractive industries of Wyoming. Eight feet in diameter and seven feet tall, the tank will be lined in polished granite and rotate on its base.

"In keeping with Moroles' interest in interactive sculpture, visitors will be able to climb into the sculpture. It will rotate, changing the views from the interior and altering the perspective on the work from the distance," says Susan Moldenhauer, director and curator of the University of Wyoming Art Museum.

For more than 30 years, Moroles has been creating large-scale public sculpture from granite. His studio in Rockport, Texas, is unequaled in the country for the making of large-scale sculptures.

In 1982, Moroles received the prestigious Awards in the Visual Arts Fellowship for which his works were included in a two-year traveling museum exhibition that originated at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Ill.

Noteworthy large-scale works by Moroles include his 22-foot tall sculpture fountain, titled "Floating Mesa Fountain" for the Albuquerque Museum in New Mexico, environmental installation of 45 sculptural elements and fountains for the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, Ala., made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts; and Lapstrake, a 64 ton, 22-foot tall sculpture for the E.F. Hutton, CBS Plaza in New York City, located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art.

Moroles' inclusion in the landmark museum exhibition, "Contemporary Hispanic Art in the United States," brought national attention to the artist. His largest single work is the 1991 site sculpture, the Houston Police Officers Memorial. Comprised of granite and an earthen stepped pyramid surrounded by four equal inverted stepped pyramids excavated from the ground, the sculpture spans 120 feet by 120 feet.

Moroles' work has been included in more than 130 one-person exhibitions and more than 200 group exhibitions. He has lectured extensively about his work and the issue of public sculpture. His work has been the subject of numerous articles and reviews in ARTNEWS, Arts, Artforum, Artspace, Artweek, Newsweek, Southwest Art, Time, and The New York Times as well as several books such as "America Art Now," and "Art in the Eighties."

For "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational," a second sculpture by Moroles, "Eclipse" is on view on the art museum's terrace. Eclipse is a part of the museum's permanent collection.

Works in "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" will be placed or created on location between May and July.

"The exhibition offers extraordinary educational opportunities for students of all ages to learn about the artists, their creative process, and the behind-the-scenes view of just how these large-scale works are created and placed," says Moldenhauer. The exhibition will be on view from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2009.

"Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" has been organized by the UW Art Museum, various agencies in the city of Laramie, and the Albany County Public Library. The exhibition is sponsored by an anonymous donor with additional support from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the Guthrie Family Foundation, FMC Corporation, First Interstate Bank of Laramie, First Interstate Bancsystems Foundation, the UW President's Office, UW Office of Academic Affairs, UW Physical Plant, Laramie Park & Recreation, Laramie Economic Development Corporation, Main Street Laramie, Albany County Tourism Board, the Friends of Undine Park, Wyoming Public Radio and the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum.

The UW Art Museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd and Willett Drive in Laramie. The museum and store are operating on special hours this summer and are open Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.

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