Wichita Arch

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Wichita ArchArtist - Andy Goldsworthy
Born - 1956
Origin - England
Year Built - 2004

About the Artist: Andy Goldsworthy (b. 1956) has achieved global renown for his ephemeral, site-specific works assembled from sand, petals, leaves, mud, and icicles and more permanent ones of wood and stone. Sometimes even his most monumental projects are temporary, such as the wood and stone structures he built on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the summer of 2004, which will be dismantled and re-erected on a private country estate. He is currently preparing to install a major permanent work at the National Gallery of Art.

Goldsworthy is represented in museums and private collections around the world. Wichita State University is the second American university to acquire one of his works. The arch has been a recurring form throughout Goldsworthy's career. He imagines the arch as a living thing that "leaps"
from point to point, or as the visible segment of a much larger, organic
entity: "The idea is part of a bigger arch, if you like, of which the pieces are spread all over the place." Unique to Wichita Arch is the artist's decision to plant a young sapling beneath the arch, anticipating that, in decades to come, the tree will grow up and around and intertwine with the stone. The work will change from season to season and year to year. Just as the arch measures the distance from one point to another, Wichita Arch also marks the passage of time in its interaction with the living tree, inviting us to meditate on the cycles of nature and the Kansas landscape.

Wichita Arch was installed October 22-29, 2004. The 22-foot-wide, 14-foot-high span of Flint Hills limestone, weighing about 74,000 pounds, is located at 17th Street and Fairmount just south of Wilner Auditorium on the WSU campus.

The Ulrich Museum of Art is grateful to our outstanding WSU Physical Plant staff for their hard work and dedication throughout the installation process. We particularly want to thank Woody DePontier, interim director, as well as Barry Barton, Paul Belt, Ed Catt, Steve Gruning, Ernie Marks, Brit Morgan, Dan Reeder, and Dan Small.