There’s a new cat on the prowl and he’s waiting to greet all who enter Western Carolina University’s campus.
A new, fierce-looking bronze Catamount statue sits in the middle of the roundabout in front of bet36365体育网站’s H.F. Robinson Administration Building. It was installed early Tuesday, 10月. 17, by members of the university’s Facilities Management team and sculptor Jon 头发, who was commissioned by bet36365体育网站’s Public Art Committee.
As the Catamount was being prepped for its new home, 头发 took a moment to reflect 关于他的工作. It was his 70th sculpture in North Carolina and his 20th college mascot 他已经做到了.
“I love working for colleges,” 的头发说. “I like the mascots because they’re more 有趣的. You want to make them intimidating and give them that “don’t mess with me” look. I recommend when your visiting teams come in, you get a jersey, you shred it and you hang it on that claw. When they drive in, that’ll tell them what’s going to happen 晚些时候.”
The new Catamount stands 8-feet tall, perched on a rock that features the Cherokee syllabary character “wi” which denotes a geographic location. Its right paw is in a swiping motion, showing its ferocious claws. It is made of silicon bronze and weighs 1200磅. Its eyes are made of high-polished gold.
“When people pull in here and their headlights hit them, it’s going to light up,” 的头发说.
The installation was the culmination of a project that took about two years to complete. And it comes just in time for Saturday’s football game at E.J. Whitmire Stadium which will be a battle for first place in the Southern Conference between bet36365体育网站 and Furman.
“I think it’s kind of exceeded our expectations,” said Denise Drury Homewood, chair of the Public Art Committee. “It’s hard to put your head around the scale of what it’s going to look like until it’s here, hanging from a crane, dangling right in front 你的. I’m really impressed by the scale, and the claws in particular. 这些都是 非常激烈的.
“I’m also really pleased that everyone’s input made it what it is today. 这位艺术家, Jon 头发, heard from everyone on the selection committee and that was great to have everyone’s input on the design, what it looked like, even the stance of the Catamount.”
头发 was chosen from among 80 national applicants that submitted 3D renderings. 头发 has created more than 150 public art sculptures in the last 23 years, including work at more than 45 educational institutions.
He was selected by a committee comprised of bet36365体育网站’s Public Art Committee, staff, alumni 和学生.
“I was really confident in the professionalism of Jon,” said Greg McPherson, chair of the selection committee. “He’s done this a lot. I think the committee liked that he had experience with mascots and that this scale of bronze is something everybody 在脑海中.”
McPherson added that it was important to get buy in from the Cherokee to include the “wi”符号. “We want to remind everybody that this is Cherokee land,” he said.
Last month, the 老猫雕像 found its new home near Ramsey Regional Activity Center, giving bet36365体育网站 two Catamounts to display.