Your first stop on the art tour of campus is the James W. Miller Learning Resources Center. As you enter the University Library look up to the atrium above the third floor to see By Kenneth F. von Roenn Jr.’s 2001 artwork “Opening Change” in the window.
“Opening Change” relates both to the architecture as well as to the use of the Miller Center. The piece is designed with the intent of introducing movement and color to the space.
“Opening Change” integrates the shapes and dimensions of the building so that it is perceived and understood as an element of the architecture. The coated dichroic glass forms suspended by stainless steel cables represent the movement of opening, such as books in a library.
A library creates openings because the books it houses open a reader’s mind to new levels of understanding. Just as the forms and colors changes, a person’s understanding changes when they read a book.
Opening Change was funded through the Minnesota Percent for Art program.
Next you’ll head up to the second floor of the University Library and walk through the study tables to see SunshineRain a 17-foot tall yarn sculpture created by Merle Sykora, a former St. Cloud State University Art professor.
The cascading strands of yarn in this 17-foot tall sculpture are meant to evoke falling rain. Light filtering through the woven strands gives the impression of a sudden rainfall on an otherwise perfectly sunny day.
The impressive sculpture was created by Merle Sykora, Professor of Art at SCSU from 1965-1996.
“SunshineRain” was originally created in 1976 for the Biennial International Textile Exhibition, in which one artist from each of the 50 states was invited to participate. The artist generously donated the sculpture to SCSU in 2011 and then installed in the second floor reading court of Miller Center in honor of John Berling, dean of Learning Resources Services from 1977 to 1997.
While viewing the display, if you head up the staircase beyond the sculpture, you can view the Ralph Heimdahl exhibit, which showcases the work of Ralph Heimdahl ’30, best known as an artist of Bugs Bunny newspaper comic strip. The exhibit outside of University Archives on the third floor celebrates the life of Heimdahl and the artwork he left behind.