Sculptures from the UW Art Museum Collection Scheduled for Installation in Laramie

July 29, 2008

Two sculptures from the University of Wyoming Art Museum collection are scheduled to be installed at two locations in Laramie.

Wednesday, July 30, Chicago artist John Kearny's sculpture, "Alligator," will be placed at the Laramie City Annex at the corner of Fourth Street and Grand Avenue. It was created in 1973 and gifted to the Art Museum by Harris J. Klein in 1974.

Robert Russin's bronze sculpture "First Steps" will be located at Undine Park before the annual Art in the Parks in early August. "First Steps," created around 1972, was gifted to the UW Art Museum in 1991 by Isadore Familian.

Kearny is known for his fanciful sculptures of animals created from welded steel car bumpers. His works appear in major collections in the United States, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita; and the Detroit Children's Museum. Since 1951, he has had numerous one-person shows in the U.S. and Italy.

Awards include a Fulbright Award to Italy and an Italian government grant (both in 1963-1964), and a Wallace Truman Price at the National Academic of Design (1953). His studio in Chicago is part of the Contemporary Art Workshop, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes Chicago and vicinity emerging and mid-career artists.

Russin's "First Steps" will join other works on permanent view locally including the artist's most prized depiction of Abraham Lincoln at the summit of I-80 between Laramie and Cheyenne, the "Wyoming Family" on Prexy's Pasture, and Ben Franklin near the UW College of Arts and Science building. Smaller works may be seen at the Laramie Recreation Center and Ivinson Memorial Hospital.

A UW professor for nearly 40 years, Russin earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at the College of the City (New York). He is fondly remembered by his students whom he motivated and inspired. Russin died in December 2007 at age 93.  

"Alligator" and "First Steps" are two of 17 works that comprise "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational," an exhibition of public art on the UW campus and in Laramie organized by the UW Art Museum. The exhibition officially opens with a celebration Friday, Sept. 12, from 4-6 p.m. on Prexy's Pasture and will continue through July 2009.

"Imagine learning from the masters" is a guiding principle of the UW Art Museum's programs. The Art Museum and Museum Store are located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd and Willett Drive in Laramie. Both are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through the summer. Admission is free.

For more information, call (307) 766-6622 or visit or the museum's blog,

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