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New Stainless Steel Sculpture Installed at UMD

Updated: June 17, 2019 09:13 PM

Polytropos now helps greet people as they walk into the Heikkila Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science building at UMD. The sculpture is 6,000 pounds of stainless steel. Crews worked to install it on Monday.

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"Its name translated from Greek means many turns," explained artist Maria Artemis. She's based in Atlanta. "When I do public artwork, it's really important to me to know the context, and part of the inspiration comes from what I learn about the place. It's like developing a relationship with a new person you just met, and they become your friend."

She said the scientific discoveries and creative work being done inside the building helped inspire her. Also, she used the geology of Minnesota as part of her plan, too. "It's a very fascinating thing. I went up to Virginia, and looked at the rocks. There will be stones in the base here, too. I wanted to include that in part of the work. The local part. And there's so much iron. It's stainless steel, but it's still iron, you know," she explained further.

Polytropos is one of two pieces of art that will bookend the building. The other is New York glass artist Paul Housberg's four large colored glass windows on the Darland side of the building.

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