October 25, 2021

Forgotten blue statue returns to Capital’s campus

The quick installation of a mysterious blue statue outside of Blackmore Library has sparked speculation and critique among Capital students. 

David Gentilini, director of The Schumacher Gallery, offered information on the new statue. 

Titled Whorl II, the statue is made of welded steel and was created by Kenneth Valimaki and Michael Liscano. 

Whorl II  was “given in Honor of Walter and Marian English for their faithful support of the Visual Arts at Capital University, The Schumacher Gallery Fund,” according to Gentilini. 

However, the statue is not a recent gift to Capital’s campus. Whorl II was originally installed in front of the library in 1987. 

Whorl II in 1987, courtesy of ColumbusMakesArt.

The statue was then moved to another location when the Loy Gym was converted to artist studios and practice rooms in 2004. After Loy was demolished in 2015 to prepare for the construction of the CMC, Whorl II was placed into storage. 

Six years later, the statue has been taken out of storage and stands between Mees Hall and Blackmore Library. 

The seemingly sudden appearance of the statue has sparked the curiosity of many students on campus. 

Instagram account, @capitalaffirmations, posted a photo of the statue inquiring about its meaning. A number of students in the comments speculated on the statue’s physical appearance, comparing it to a quill pen and a tide pod. 

Instagram post of Whorl II, courtesy of @capitalaffirmations.

Fourth-year Music Industry student, Matthew Persaud, asked, “Why is it even there? It’s so out of place. It’s extremely ugly. It’s not even the Cap colors.” 

Other students have commented on the placement of the statue, wondering if the aesthetic would be more suited to the modernity of the CMC, rather than Mees Hall and Blackmore Library. 

According to ColumbusMakesArt.com, Kenneth Valimaki is an Ohio State alumni and has been a sculptor in Columbus for over twenty five years. Locals may have seen his other works at Port Columbus, Ohio Aerospace Institute, Wright State University and Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. 

Valimaki has stated that he has “a commitment to design that contributes to the identity of buildings and architectural spaces.” 

Whorl II ’s other contributor, Michael Liscano is described as an “architect, artist, traveler, welder, master of the quick sketch,” on ArtPrize.org. 

Located in Hilliard, OH, Liscano has collaborated with Valimaki on other sculpture projects, including their Port Columbus and Finnish Heritage Museum pieces. 

ColumbusMakesArt.com also offers text for a plaque that should accompany the sculpture. The plaque reads, “Cut planes, rotating around a center point, form a progression in which the shapes transform from a quarter circle, to a tall thin curve.”

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