Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Today: Public Art Markets Business

Jaryn Jones

October 23, 2013

The sculpture represents the energy and breadth that goes into every business.

Texas Tech University System Officials recently celebrated the latest addition to its system-wide public art collection, We Are in the Business of Changing the World, designed by BC Sculpture.

The artists, Tara Conley of Houston and Joe Barrington of Throckmorton, created a multi-element installation located in the courtyard south of the Rawls College of Business that represents the various elements of business from the local to global level.

Students entering the building can now pass under two bent-pipe arches with a bull and a bear on each side of their path to class. According to Conley, this part of the piece both directly and abstractly represents today's market.

"The bear set of pipes includes two rows that go up, out and down, while the bull set of pipes includes three rows that appear stronger and continue up and up," Conley said. "Not only does this portray the volatile nature of the market, but also the energy and the breadth that goes into every business."

The two arches are made of 240 separate pieces, representing the multitude of individuals working together in the business world.

The installation also includes six bronze plate "icons" arranged around a circle on the ground that display various commodities native to the Lubbock region and community including corn, oil and cotton.

The circle is surrounded by several phrases engraved in limestone that pertain to how people and business relate to the world.

"When choosing the phrases, we thought about the students' relationship to the piece as they go through school at Texas Tech," Conley said. "While one phrase might attract them now, years later it may be another phrase they truly identify with."

The artists answered a special request when Chancellor Kent Hance was inspired by the words included in the piece. The sidewalk leading up to the sculpture now includes a phrase familiar to all Red Raiders, "Dream No Little Dreams," Hance's favorite motto.

Conley and Barrington were selected from 58 applicants on the basis of their firm grasp on the many different aspects of business and their desire to create an installation using visual language business students would recognize and identify with.

This is the largest single public art expenditure for the TTU System public art collection to date and includes LED lights that Conley said add to the strength and energy of the piece.

The TTU System's Public Art Program was initiated by the Board of Regents in 1998 as an investment in the campus environments at each of its institutions. Through the program, public artworks are funded using one percent of the estimated total cost of each new major capital project. Since then, 91 items created by some of today's leading artists have been added to the TTU System's campuses.

Read the original article from Texas Tech Today.