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Da Vinci-inspired sculpture to symbolize UT Arlington's world-class mission

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

News Topics: Arlington, engineering, liberal arts

A 20-foot sculpture to be installed this spring at The University of Texas at Arlington will symbolize the University’s bold commitment to research, science and the arts.

Reach sculpture to be installed this spring in the Janet and Michael Greene Research Quadrangle of the Engineering Research Building.

Reach sculpture to be installed this spring in the Janet and Michael Greene Research Quadrangle of the Engineering Research Building.

Reach, a work by assistant professor of art Darryl Lauster, is based on Helical Aerial Screw, Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th century sketch for a gyroscopic flying machine, often referred to today as one of the first helicopter prototypes. Lauster developed the concept to celebrate the significant growth and change that has occurred at UT Arlington during President James D. Spaniolo’s tenure after the president announced plans to retire last year.

The work is intended to inspire students and others in their quest for knowledge, Lauster said. It will span 26 feet and have a central aluminum mast with radiating ribs of Dacron sailcloth that create an energetic, helical pattern.

“I came up with the design after considering the relationship between our students and our University, the relationship between the University and our community and the mission of our University,” said Lauster, who joined the UT Arlington Department of Art and Art History in 2008.

Reach will be installed this spring in the Janet and Michael Greene Research Quadrangle of the Engineering Research Building.

Lauster said the movement implied in the sculpture is illustrative of growth, which reflects the growth of the University.

Leonardo Da Vinci's 15th century sketch, which is today known as the Helical Aerial Screw.

Leonardo Da Vinci's 15th century sketch, which is today known as the Helical Aerial Screw.

“Da Vinci was the ultimate Renaissance man,” Lauster said. “In a single individual we have all the connotations of knowledge, the pursuit of not only engineering, but art, mechanics, flight, and biology. Reach speaks to the pursuit. The sculpture emphasizes the Helical Aerial Screw, which when turned would give it flight.

“Like Leonardo, President Spaniolo has helped the University to spread its wings.”

President Spaniolo said Lauster’s work will inspire generations of students, faculty and campus visitors.

“UT Arlington has accomplished much in the past decade, but it is what our students, faculty and staff achieve daily in our classrooms, labs and study areas that make a real difference in our world,” Spaniolo said. “This landmark work of art will remind us all to reach for our utmost potential.”

John Hall, UT Arlington vice president for administration and campus operations, said University leaders have long discussed a desire to incorporate such large-scale, public art into the campus.

Beth Wright, dean of the UT Arlington College of Liberal Arts, applauded Lauster for his artistry and ingenuity, calling Reach a meaningful addition to the University.

“Professor Lauster’s sculpture Reach makes insight manifest. It highlights the quality of our faculty, and celebrates the thrilling promise which will be fulfilled by our students,” Wright said.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,200 students and 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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