In honor of the installation of Judy’s Hand Pavilion on Toby’s Plaza, throughout July, we will highlight other highly recognizable outdoor art installations across campus.
The first sculpture acquired by the John and Mildred Putnam Sculpture Collection, Snow Fence, has graced the grassy area between Mather House and Thwing Center since its installation in 1981.
Its name and design are fairly straightforward: The artist, Gene Kangas, was inspired by the temporary wooden slat fences that keep snow drifts from forming, often used on ski slopes and nature trails. He enjoyed that these snow fences allow many things to pass through that other fences would keep out.
The sculpture includes six large metal slats, a twisting and curling green rail, a 2-D silhouette of a woman with an umbrella, a dog and white birds.
Kangas’ work appears throughout much of Ohio, including two pieces just down Euclid Avenue on Cleveland State University’s campus. Like most artists featured in the collection, Kangas is a regional artist and graduated from Bowling Green State University in Northwest Ohio.
He and his wife, Linda, have several creative endeavors together, including books surveying vintage decoy ducks and an online art gallery.