- December 9, 2015
Sarasota's collection of public art work just got one piece larger this morning at the Ringling College of Art and Design.
The college announced the winners in its semester-long Mitzner Markle Women's Sculpture Competition. Friends and fellow students Irene Garibay and Celia Garcia Nogales won the competition's $15,000 scholarship and $25,000 budget for their winning concept. The 11-feet tall and eight-feet wide design, built entirely out of Australian iron wood and glass, will be placed southwest of the college's new library's entrance in the summer of 2016, right before the library opens.
The competition was sponsored by local artist and technologist Nancy Markle. Facilitated by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Markle wanted to give students an opportunity to students to experience the competitive deadlines of real world commissions. "I hope that this competition inspired students to make an impact and create art that can be appreciated by the community for years to come," says Markle. "Knowing that Irene and Celia's work of art will be seen by everyone that comes to Ringling College is a joy and an inspiration."
Along with other student entries, Garibay and Nogales submitted a concept statement, a budget proposal, list of proposed materials and examples of their current work. Garibay and Nogales's piece, two imposing columns of red wood connected by glass, was inspired by the core feature of any great library: its books.
"Celia and I were both excited and inspired by nature and reading, and we wanted to build something to honor libraries," says Garibay. "The statue will honor libraries as a center of knowledge and illustrate the parallel between books, which are made of paper, and trees as sources of life."
Markle's endowment will also help pay for the maintenance of the exposed wooden statue in perpetuity, which after a few years exposed to the elements, like any organic surface will change color and morph.
"Ultimately, we wanted to represent the library as being more than just a place where books are stored," says Nogales. "It's a place where people can come together and collaborate and work just like we did on this statute."