About the Artists
Don Williams was a student at Delta College from 1965-1968 and studied art under Delta professors Russel Thayer and Charles Breed. He enjoyed a long career as an art teacher in Saginaw Township and taught summers in Delta's "Fantastics" program for area children before retiring.
Susan Pumford and Jeff Kuch
Susan Pumford is a Saginaw-based community volunteer and philanthropist. Her husband, Robert, was President of Pumford Construction.
The Pumfords have always enjoyed the water and ripples along the shoreline. Because of this fascination, Susan captured the serenity and tranquility in a state of permanence by creating Ripples.
Inside My World was designed by Susan Pumford and manufactured by Jeff Kuch. Made of two steel rings, the design is being recreated anew for the Delta Sculpture Walk, based upon the original design. In discussing her thoughts about the design, Susan stated, "’Inside My World reflects my belief that open spaces are filled with a promise and that you can always step outside." Utilizing stainless steel, welder Jeff Kuch created this work to Susan’s original design. The Pumfords have the original sculpture, also built by Mr. Kuch, on the grounds of their Saginaw County home.
Mark Burrows Morley
A lifelong resident of Saginaw, Michigan, Mark Morley graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School and received his associate degree from Lansing Community College. He was admired for the creativity he brought to his role as Designer and Trade Show Manager at Morley Companies. It was that same creative spirit that led him to rebuild European sports cars in his garage and to build boat models.
Ultimately, the creation of the work reflects his love of sailing. He relished the challenge and cherished the camaraderie found on the open water. Aside from sailing, Mark was happiest at the family cottage at Lakeside on Higgins Lake, spending time with family and friends. A member of the Saginaw Bay Yacht Club, he was respected in the broader sailing community not only for his skill on the seas, but also for his willingness to help others in need and his talent for telling tales that evoked laughter from himself and those fortunate to know him.
Mark was a very strong supporter of Saginaw and was proud of his family's deep roots and many decades in the area. That pride was evident in his extensive service to Saginaw. Mark was President of the Morley Foundation, which was founded by his Great Grandfather Ralph Chase Morley, and was proud to work with third and fourth generation members of the family on their charitable work.
There are long and strong ties between Delta College and the Morley family. Edward B. Morley Sr. served as a member of Delta College’s "Committee of 300", the founders of the institution. Mark Morley was a former member of the Delta College Foundation Board of Directors, serving from 2003 to 2008, and advised on many other projects. Mark continued the Morley Foundation tradition of supporting Delta College and its Quality Public Broadcasting stations. Since 1983, it has underwritten programming on Q-TV, longer than any other organization.
Mr. Morley passed away in 2011 from injuries sustained in a sailing accident. This work has on loan to the Delta Sculpture Walk by his daughter, Sage, in loving memory of her devoted father.
Russell Thayer was a Delta College Professor of Art. Unfolding Arch combines elements of a gate or entry, and was commissioned by Delta near Russell's retirement in 1999. This concept has wonderful connotations in relation to Delta's role for students expressing our belief in the ideals of reflection and the "examined life". Russell designed this as a learning experience for advanced art students to assist in the construction. They were able to work with him throughout the entire creative process. Although originally conceived and designed for an outdoor space on campus, the aluminum sculpture was placed in Founders Hall for several years. The piece was dedicated on the occasion of the official opening of Delta's Science & Learning Technology project, including the Library Learning Information Center.
The original idea for Wind's Wings came to Russell while living in Mexico, high on the mountains in San Miguel d’Allende. The skies are full of clouds rising over the high peaks and seemed to be like wings of the swirling winds. The top shape represents the clouds gathered, perched on a column of rising heat and air. The sculpture is made of Cor-Ten steel, which was a new material that attracted artists for its outdoor uses. Cor-Ten steel rusts on the surface, which then becomes a skin that prevents further degeneration of the metal.
Mary Anderson and Lyman Whitaker
Mary Anderson, who provided funding for the Delta Sculpture Walk, is founder and director of the Delta College Flute Choir. Currents, and its many playful features, brings together elements that are infinitely a reflection of Michigan. The upward sprays and falling water brings to mind how Michigan has been shaped by the power of water over many millennia. Wind turns the metallic sculptures, reflecting both Michigan’s historic copper industry, as well as the wind on our Great Lakes. The sculptures twist in the wind, changing hourly with speed and ease, as is the case with our state’s sometimes unpredictable weather.
Artist Lyman Whitaker created the wind sculptures fabricated out of copper and stainless steel. Each design permits the sculpture to be responsive to the currents of the wind, allowing changing forms to emerge. The three design elements included here are: "Waves", "Twisted Oval" and "Double Helix". The design permits the sculptures to be responsive to the currents of the wind, allowing changing forms to emerge in a slight breeze, yet balance in high wind. The weathered colors of rust, brown, tan and green are all elements of the applied patina.
Lyman Whitaker has been a practicing sculptor for more than 40 years, with a unique knowledge of materials and their application. The past 19 years have primarily been focused on creating Wind Sculptures™, which are all produced by hand. Whitaker expresses his concern for the survival of the planet through a creative medium.
Nestled within the courtyard nearest to Delta College’s Fine Arts Building, placement of the Currents fountain is a tribute to the many magical performances – and performers – associated with the Delta College Flute Choir, founded by Mary Anderson in 1974. It remains the oldest performing flute choir in Michigan and one of the five oldest flute choirs in the United States.
In celebration of its 50-year anniversary in 2011, Delta College commissioned a fountain to be built that would both look back to our community’s past, as well as represent the ever-changing nature of our world. The Anderson Family of Bay City underwrote the cost of this significant addition to the College, in honor of the many connections enjoyed over the decades.
John Sauve, a Detroit native, is a sculptor and printmaker. He is the curator of the Brighton-based Sauve Art Foundation, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. He has held numerous teaching positions while continuing to participate in solo and group shows, as well receiving awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects and the State of Michigan.
John Sauve creates pieces that are composed of figures with strong vertical and horizontal objects and are often painted in bold primary colors. A key element to his sculpture is the shadow that causes his work to change shape as the viewer moves around it. Sauve has produced many monumental and large-scaled works of art for museums, cities and public institutions across the United States. His sculpture is designed, engineered, fabricated and erected in his Brighton, Michigan studio. Says the artist, “We are all bodies in space, but where we fit into the scheme of things at large is still an open question. The cumulative effect of seeing the everyday elevated or in a new frame, it is the sense of discovering the same body in different circumstances, so it is less about the subject and more about the content.”
Says the artist, "Movement is the breath of life. It releases the power, or subtlety, of any form in repose - the promise of action. My sculpture examines the relationship between fixed form and movement: each sculpture attempts to suggest the transformation that is possible. The exploration of movement seemed a natural evolution from a previous investigation of duality. For years, I've been driven to sculpt as a way of investigating realness. I speculate that the speed of the mark, as an element in itself, might generate a disturbance of sorts that could allow some essence of realness to hatch out."
Says the artist, "The properties inherent in the material I have chosen - whether marble, wood, plaster, clay, copper, sheet metal, wax, bronze, and most recently, aluminum and mirrored stainless steel - guide me in my development of each piece. Each offers me its own singular challenge: how do I unravel the mystery of revealing its kinetic possibilities? And the material is only one element to consider. Size, surface, texture and patina must combine to create balance, making the piece visually and spatially engaging."
Verna Bartnick is a Traverse City-based sculptor who also owns and operates a restaurant, The Old Mission Tavern. Her studio is located next to the restaurant.
Says the artist, "I was doodling the possibilities of a circle. I had two plaza cutters, torches and welders, when the design just happened. Since then, it’s been the logo for my gallery in Traverse City, Michigan." Celebration focuses on the positive aspects of the circle. In art, architecture, dance and nature, a circle can show how lives connect. With the passage of time, we continue to intersect as we approach eternity. Celebration went on to win first place in an art competition after it was purchased by Susan and Robert Pumford of Saginaw.
Says the artist, "From my exposure to different materials in the film industry, and the need to be continually resourceful in that business, I have learned to let myself be open to inspiration from many sources. Often observations of the world around me, or testing the limits of a material get me started. I’m always motivated, though, by the way shapes relate to each other and the tension in a negative space. Art for me is play, but invariably leads my imagination into places of discovery, mystery and certainly pleasure. It’s those feelings that I hope are conveyed to my audience."
Says the artist, "My sculptures are products of their environment. I'm often asked what inspires me or influences my work. Frequently, it's not until well after a piece has been completed that I understand the finer points of what motivated me. We are rarely aware of the importance of what may seem like insignificant elements. Yet when one of these elements is missing, or added, it can have dramatic effects on our lives. When I was growing up, the sculptures were an everyday part of my life. I simply don't have the ability to verbally elaborate on their impact, so what I have done is develop a three-dimensional vocabulary that I employ in my work."
Says the artist, "My aim in making art is to combine the power and aesthetics of my Native American heritage with modern techniques, theory, materials and world art history. While I greatly respect those who recreate the traditional art forms of the Americas, I feel that the incorporation of a broader perspective can result in a more profound examination of the world and our place in it. I have found confluences with other art forms like Cubism, leading into "western" art history almost in a contra-process to the appropriation of the same native material as iconic by the surrealists in the 1920s and '30s. As a 21st Century artist, the entire history of art worldwide is available as a resource, and I feel free to incorporate or subvert images and iconographies that will ensure the transmission of my concepts. As an artist and as an American Indian, I find too many aspects of life that must be acknowledged, whether in a complimentary or challenging fashion, to be able not to attempt to use a broad spectrum of expression."
Says the artist, "History is constantly repeating itself and the more that we try to distance ourselves from the past, the more we are bound to it in the future. My work is a culmination of art historical references and an exploration of my relationship to the past."
Says the artist, "My current body of work focuses on the abstraction of the human form and how it conveys a complex and layered language. I begin my process by defining a graphic silhouette that captures the body in motion. I then define the subtleties that reside in the transitions between bone and muscle, torso and limbs, line and mass. I extrude the articulated silhouette back into a three dimensional mass that can be pushed and pulled to exaggerate and communicate a sense of motion and weight. Through the use of the traditional techniques of perspective drawing (such as forced perspective, line weight and foreshortening) translated three dimensionally and in metal, I developed an abstract language that hides the obvious signifiers of the human form and allows the subconscious intentions of the figure to be revealed. These intentions are further manifested by the cover plates that act as portals that reveal that these figures are, in fact, vessels. The portals are often adorned with additional industrial artifacts such as bolts, tubes and screens that acknowledge the history of the materials and tie them to the industrial age. The scale of these works creates a dynamic between the ground plane and the stance of the figures."
The artist said, "When I am creating art, it is important to me that it is approachable and accessible. This is why I prefer to work in public spaces. Part of my sculpting process includes looking at a scrap pile of steel as a puzzle to be solved. I have a part of me that is drawn to making art out of steel. Maybe it is because my dad has a steel company and it worked its way into my subconscious. Maybe I like how incredibly strong the material is. Maybe it’s the raw textured surface or the beautiful oranges in the rust."
Says the artist, "While an art student in the 1970s, I was influenced by the theories and practices of minimalism and conceptualism which dominated the art world at the moment. Between college and graduate school, I was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes scholarship to the United Kingdom to serve as apprentice to the sole millwright for the government’s Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. I learned the ancient techniques and craftsmanship of watermill and windmill construction and preservation. As a result of these influences and experiences, my aesthetic is rooted in craftsmanship while being informed by the sublime nature of minimal forms and the layering of history and ideas. I am especially drawn to the interactions of wind, water, sunlight and gravity on natural materials. My work is defined by the tension at the point of contact, or joint, and the act of creating this tension. The ways in which disparate materials interact with each other define my life and my relationship with the world. Oak and granite nesting in congruent harmony, stainless steel orbs spinning within walnut ellipses, granite shards twisting against armatures of steel - these elements are held together through my commitment to materials, history and craftsmanship."