Sculpture to adorn art center rotunda at Owens college


Owens Community College has commissioned a Philadelphia artist to create a 25-foot-tall metal and glass sculpture to be the centerpiece of its new Center for Fine and Performing Arts, which is expected to open in the fall on its Perrysburg Township campus.

Ray King was selected by a college committee to create “Owens Rings” at a cost of $153,482, the Owens board of trustees learned yesterday.

The piece will consist of six tapered, stainless-steel rings suspended from a cable structure in the three-story glass rotunda that will be the main entrance to the $10 million facility, according to Brian Paskvan, executive assistant to the president of Owens.

Attached to the cascading rings will be arcs of laminated glass with a special coating so that its colors will change based on the angle from which it is viewed, he said.

“It creates a beautiful kind of high-tech structure that is meant to create a lot more activity of light projected in that space,” said Mr. King, reached in his studio by The Blade.

The rings will vary in diameter from 191/2 feet to 12 feet and weigh about 1,000 pounds.

A 1990 Ohio law - Percent for Art - requires that 1 percent of state funds provided for new public buildings costing more than $4 million go toward art, Mr. Paskvan said. In this case, it came from the appropriations for the performing arts center and Student Health and Activities Center, which opened in 2000.

The design is loosely inspired by the college's logo, and Owens President Christa Adams lauded the design for reflecting Toledo's history with the glass industry.

The abundance of glass in the facility, she said, is “so symbolic of our service to Toledo.”

The piece is expected to be installed early this summer in the building, which will house a 520-seat theater, a 50-seat music/lecture hall, and classrooms and offices.

In other business, the Owens board:

  • Approved across-the-board salary increases of up to 4 percent, effective Jan. 1, for college staff who are not part of bargaining units. Those employees will be eligible for merit raises of up to 2 percent.

    Lump-sum payments ranging between 1 and 3 percent will be available to members of the security bargaining unit.

  • Hired Fox Lawson & Associates, LLC, of Phoenix, to perform a compensation and classification study for the college's staff positions at a cost of $85,000. It will help create consistency throughout the college and make it more competitive, officials said.

  • Elected Ronald McMaster, a member of the Owens board since 1995, as its vice chairman.