Some may walk past the red sculpture in front of Moser Hall and just take it in as a part of the scenery. We don’t know much about it, where it came from, or even whom to ask about it, but it has been a long-standing curiosity for some STEMians who do not remember a time without it. Over the last couple weeks, we have been searching for information and we’ve found out quite a bit about “Inner Circles.”
“Inner Circles” is the name that you’ll find on the southeast side of the sculpture along with the artist, David Black, and the date. David Black, a professor emeritus at Ohio State University, built the structure as a part of a renovation project in 1996. This means many of our current STEMians were just entering into their first days of their academic careers when Black set out to make his mark on YSU.
Black has a long series of sculptures at various places in the United States, but also in other countries. Many of his sculptures are in Ohio, but there are some more famous ones, like Fire Dance in Fort Myers, Florida. If you take a look at this series of sculptures, you will find that many of them are in white. Ours is a little more unique because Black decided to paint ours red to go along with YSU’s colors.
The structure, which cost $66,00 in 1996, was built as a part of the Percent for Art Program in Ohio. The Percent for Art Program is a piece of legislation that says whenever there is a new building or a renovation of a building that will cost over $4 million, one percent of that cost must go to artwork. Since the beginning of this program in 1991, over 100 projects have been completed in Ohio alone.
It took over three years for the structure to be completed, from the artist search to conception to painting the sculpture, and there were three other artists that were considered. After being selected, Black worked on the sculpture at Northern Manufacturing Company, which has a sculpture of its own, in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
In a 1996 Jambar article, Black says that “Inner Circles” is supposed to represent the fields of engineering and circular motion, but it represents much more to us now. It what we envision when we think about STEM and its our own little beacon to let us know we are home.