Free Fly is a cast and welded aluminum work of abstracted anthropomorphic forms which was acquired by the Swope Art Museum in 1977, through the 33rd Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition as a Sculpture Award. Artist Bob Evans, originally from Wyoming, taught sculpture and drawing at Indiana State University for 35 years.

Evans was inspired to create Free Fly when he came upon three large aluminum propeller blades that had been discarded. While studying the sensual curved forms and contemplating the original purpose of the propellers, the artist began to develop a concept for the sculpture that would symbolize “… man’s dream of flight. Free of any restraints, other than bone, muscle and desire.”

He writes: I want this sculpture to evoke a symbolic desire to fly unaided. In constructing this piece, I used various techniques including welding aluminum found objects (three propellers), and casting the head in aluminum. When designing this work, the process was less analytic and more intuitive. Without making obvious representation, I wanted to introduce references of natural and geometric forms to the human figure and to create a fluid, open, asymmetrical composition that, even when abstract, would have the value of gesture and movement. The human suggestion arises from the propeller legs (found object) and the gesturing appendages from the head (cast). The human form and the menacing machine have been fused.

Additional Information:

Aluminum, 1976

5′ 11″ high

Located on the Terre Haute Arts Corridor just south of the corner of Ohio and 7th Streets.

Bob Evans is Professor Emeritus from Indiana State University and he lives and works in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Art Spaces gratefully acknowledges:

  • The City of Terre Haute, Duke A. Bennet, Mayor
  • KIVA Structural Engineers
  • Swope Art Museum
  • ST Construction

Free Fly is part of the Permanent Art Collection of the Swope Art Museum.