“Square One” Sculpture Installed on Concourse of Allen E. Paulson Stadium
STATESBORO, Ga. – “Square One,” a steel sculpture created by Georgia Southern ’93 MFA alum Roger Finch will be installed on the North concourse of Allen E. Paulson Stadium and dedicated Saturday, September 22nd before kickoff of the Georgia Southern-Elon football game. The 8 foot by 8 foot piece consists of hundreds of pieces of welded steel, painted dark blue, with a negative space that forms the numeral “1.” Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel and First Lady Dr. Tammie Schalue will dedicate the sculpture at 4:45 p.m. after the Eagles’ yellow school buses arrive at the stadium.
Finch is a former aircraft mechanic who created “Square One” as a piece for his final Master’s of Fine Arts exhibit while a student in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art. He donated “Square One” to the University upon graduation in 1993, and the sculpture was placed at the Ceramic and Sculpture Studio as part of the department’s Alumni Collection.
Several years later, Eagles’ Head Football Coach Jeff Monken saw the sculpture while with two of his daughters throwing clay bowls at the BFS Department of Art’s “Empty Bowl Project.” He liked the sculpture so much that he inquired about the possibility of having the sculpture moved to Paulson Stadium.
“The size and the strength of the sculpture itself makes a statement, but its uniqueness in terms of design and the materials that comprise it make it a special piece,” explained Monken. “To me, it epitomizes Georgia Southern Football -- an array of unique pieces of strong, tough material fastened together with a bond to form one structure with a centered, common goal -- to be NUMBER ONE!”
The creation of the two-ton sculpture represented a new start for Finch. Nearing the completion of his Master’s degree at Georgia Southern, Finch felt accomplished, yet confused. “I realized that during college, I had been doing art that was influenced by the contemporary artists of that time instead of designing by my core idea of myself,” Finch explained. He knew that had to change.
Symbolically starting over, Finch wanted to use up all the materials in his studio. Working from his heart, he created this sculpture, welding together hundreds of smaller pieces of steel. In the center of the sculpture a negative space that formed the numeral “1” remained. Finch instinctively named the piece “Square One” to symbolize his first step to becoming the artist he wanted to be.
“I wanted this sculpture to be where people can see it, question it and enjoy it,” said Finch, who was very pleased with the relocation of the sculpture to Paulson. “The ultimate joy of making a sculpture is having people enjoy it.”
Today, Finch says that his passion and focus in his sculpture designs are "mechanical,” as he loves for those who view his art to be able to see the "inner workings" of each piece. Many of his current works have movable parts to be played with and not just looked at. His sculptures can be found on public display at universities and corporations as well as in private collections.
The artist and his wife Carol own Mirabella-Finch Sculpture Studio in Augusta, Ga., where Finch teaches classes.
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- Category: Football
- Published on Sunday, 31 December 1899 19:00