A sculpture memorializing students who have died while working toward a degree will soon become part of the university's permanent collection. The university is now commissioning artist proposals.
In the call to artists, the university said the sculpture should be "visually engaging and improve the aesthetic quality of the space, while being sensitive to the nature of the commission."
According to the university, the piece will offer a visitor a space to contemplate life and loss. Recently, the St. Thomas grappled with those very themes while mourning the death of second-year student Kyra Winslow.
After the sculpture is installed, the university will hold an annual day of remembrance for families, friends and the university community each May to memorialize Winslow and other students who have died.
Artists have until Jan. 31, 2021 to submit a proposal for the piece, which could be up to eight feet tall, five feet in diameter and weigh up to 4,000 pounds. A selection committee, which includes students, family of deceased students and representatives from Student Life, Campus Ministry, the Art History Department, University Development and Alumni Relations, will review the submissions. The St. Thomas community will also have a chance to weigh in at the semifinal stage.
The sculpture will be placed adjacent to the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, near the Mary Garden and the Tommie East residence hall. The university expects to install the piece in the fall of 2021.