Visual and Mental Paradoxes
Over the years there have been a number of programs to place artwork on Mass Ave: this piece is the remnant of one of them, the MassAttractions program that was initiated by the Riley Area Development Corporation. The artist is Jerald Jacquard, who was a professor at IU Bloomington at the time of installation. The firefighters’ union contributed the site, and the artist’s fee was raised by private donors. It has been here since 1999, even before the new wing on the union house.
The artist, Jerald Wayne Jacquard, was born February 1, 1937 in Lansing Michigan and passed away in Bloomington, Indiana on Saturday July 25, 2020.
He graduated from Lansing’s Eastern High School where he played various sports; he was a state champion wrestler and captain of the football team, he also played baseball, and was on the swim team. It was his success in wrestling that earned him a full-ride scholarship to Michigan State University to wrestle and study in the School of Fine Arts. During this time Jerry also served for several years as a Sergeant in the US Army Reserve. Gaining experience in his father’s welding business in Lansing, he was considered a master welder. He earned a BA from MSU in 1960 and his MFA in 1962. After graduating he taught at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1963 to study bronze casting in Florence, Italy. In 1966, he and Dawn moved their young family to Chicago, where Jerry built the sculpture department at the new University of Illinois, Chicago Circle Campus. While in Chicago Jerry watched the modern skyline grow and it was during this time that he became interested in monumental sculpture in urban environments. His welding skills proved valuable as he created and erected his large sculptures in downtown Chicago and surrounding areas. In 1974, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and would go on to receive many other prestigious awards including a National Endowment for the Arts in 1980 and a Lilly Research Fellowship in 1981. In the fall of 1975 he joined the faculty at Indiana University and moved the family to Bloomington, Indiana, where he led the Sculpture Department at IU Bloomington and taught sculpture for over 30 years, retiring in 2019. His works are in many collections, including the Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University; the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Michigan; the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields; and the White River State Park, Indianapolis.