Tim Upham‘s Renewal creatively transforms an open street corner into a welcoming and intriguing environment as the sculpture surges upward out of the ground. He was asked to incorporate one or more of Indiana State University’s symbols (a book, a torch or a sycamore leaf) into his concept as well as to respond to the new building and its surroundings.

While the sycamore leaf is an important emblem for ISU, the sycamore tree is an important area natural resource, a symbol of growth and regeneration. Perhaps because of that, as well as the sculptural form, ISU student Tyler Miller, who won the sculpture naming contest, called it Renewal. ISU students Andrea Cole, Sarah Stetter and Julie Whitaker won the design contest for Meis Plaza.

Renewal represents a visible expression of the ISU Foundation’s commitment to connect the University and the City with a work of public art that is beckoning to the casual onlooker, while also offering a striking identity for their own downtown location.

Like many of Tim’s works, Renewal is a physical manifestation of energy in mid-stream, harnessing motion into a tangible form worthy of contemplation. The sculpture offers differing experiences when viewed from inside the plaza or from afar; the artist intended that the experience of this sculpture not be static. Only when a visitor is on the plaza and under Renewal do they discover that the wave form is also a sycamore leaf. At night, dramatic blue tint LED lighting enhances the blue and white (University colors) theme, while simultaneously providing a warm and glowing presence for passersby.

Additional Information:

Stainless Steel, Metal, and Glass Marbles, 2011

12′ high, 20′ wide, 14’ deep

Located at the corner of 5th and Cherry streets at the Indiana State University Foundation office, 30 N. 5th Street

Tim Upham lives and works in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Art Spaces gratefully acknowledges

  • Alane and Lucien Meis
  • Indiana State University Foundation