news release Steel Sculpture Finds a New Home in the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden
For Release: June 4, 2019
Steel Sculpture Finds a New Home in the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden
Akron, Ohio—After 15 years in storage, an iconic artwork in the Akron Art Museum collection will get a new home. A prominent fixture of the museum’s former courtyard, Mark di Suvero’s Eagle Wheel is being conserved, repainted and readied for installation in the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden. The unforgettable steel sculpture will be installed in the garden’s Art Oasis—adjacent to South Broadway Street—in time for the June 27 launch of Downtown@Dusk, the museum’s summer concert series.
John S. Knight Director and CEO Mark Masuoka said, “We are excited for the return of this sculpture. Its presence as a public artwork continues the museum’s process of adding additional artworks to the garden both temporarily and permanently. Our past continues to feed our future, and I cannot think of a better opportunity to pave the way to the museum’s centennial in 2022 than with a garden filled with art.”
Eagle Wheel was acquired by the Akron Art Museum in 1980, with the support of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Sisler McFawn Foundation and the Museum Acquisition Fund. In 1981, the sculpture was installed in the museum’s courtyard, where it remained on view, through periodic maintenance and two repaintings, until 2004, when it was placed in storage during the construction of the John S. and James L. Knight building. After conservation and repainting, engineers, excavators, landscapers and riggers are working with the museum to ready the sculpture and the garden for its return.
Since the early 1970s, di Suvero (b. 1933) has created large-scale constructions of cut and welded steel and industrial remnants. Most of his sculpture, including Eagle Wheel, could not have been realized without the use of cranes, forklift trucks, and welding torches—which the artist operated himself, referring to the equipment as “his paintbrush.”
Eagle Wheel, which unites dynamic angles with graceful curves, is painted di Suvero’s signature color, International Orange, a government-issued color selected to set objects apart from their surroundings. The sculpture’s indelible presence will provide a bright contrast to the greenery of the garden, while also hinting at Akron’s industrial heritage, the museum’s history and their continued growth.