U of M sculpture competition announces winner

Joshua Roach was announced, on Jan. 28, as the winner of the third annual University of Manitoba’s Sculptural Experience competition.

Sculptural Experience is a competition to have a student work of sculpture installed on campus.

Roach said that he was shocked because there were “so many strong pieces” submitted and did not expect to win. He said he was very excited about having his winning piece, “Chester the Jester,” put on campus. “It is a really cool thought to have something tangible that will constantly be seen by people.”

Roach said that he had entered the competition in 2009 as well and wanted to do so again because he knew it was a “tremendous opportunity.”

“The main idea is of expressing one’s individuality in a swarm of people,” Roach said of the idea he wanted to express through his winning sculpture.

This competition is one of three parts of the Collaboration to Promote Art and Music (CPAM), a joint effort between the university and UMSU to promote creative student talent on campus and to encourage the necessary artistic and aesthetic environment of the university. The other two projects with CPAM are “Tunnel Vision” and “Random Acts of Music.”

The funding for CPAM is supported through UMSU and the university.

U of M sculpture professor Gordon Reeve hoped that the competition shows the U of M school of art is a place that encourages independent student thought.
Reeve explained that it is challenging for students to create for a public art market and giving them a professional experience will help to make the university experience “more valid, more vital and more relevant.”

The students “don’t create for the money or for the prize,” Reeve stated, elaborating that they create for their own reasons and because they believe the ideas behind the work are important.

University of Manitoba Students’ Union president Heather Laube, one of the creators of the project, explained that part of her inspiration for the project came from seeing departments that wanted to contribute to the student experience as well as past tunnel painting projects.

“Students, UMSU and the university all benefit through this collaborative experience,” Laube said.

Laube said that this project is “unique and the first of its kind.”

Roach also said he felt that “this is the exact type of opportunity the university should be providing,” saying the project was about giving applicants a professional experience. He added that it is “invaluable” to learn about the application process for these kinds of large-scale sculptures.

Last year’s Sculptural Experience had two winners, Ben Bonner and Laura Magnusson, who each won $5,000; this year the prize is $7,000 for one winner.
The committee decided to select one student this year, in order to follow the budget, which Laube explained would be more sustainable for the program.

The past two winners of Sculptural Experience will have their works installed this spring and Roach’s work will be installed after contracted work has been completed.

“Eventually we hope to have the University Centre patio as a gallery for all the successful applicants of the CPAM Sculptural Experience” Laube said.