Unveiled in 2006 as one of the crowning achievements of Bruce W. Bergland’s Chancellorship (1999 to 2010), the Shadows and Echoes Sculpture Garden at Indiana University Northwest represents the convergence of an artist’s vision and the mission of an entire campus.
The Sculpture Garden, located at the center of the Gary campus, is one of the region’s largest public art projects. Sculptor Neil Goodman, in collaboration with landscape architect Cynthia Owen-Bergland, developed the ambitious sculpture garden in one of the most visible public spaces on the campus -- the courtyard of the Savannah Center. Bounded by glass walls, the garden displays a series of Goodman’s monumental bronze sculptures and extends to the grass knoll adjacent to the north end of Hawthorn Hall.
“This garden is an important milestone in my career and one of my most beloved and ambitious Projects,” said Goodman. “It is also one that I hope will encourage new generations of Fine Arts faculty to leave their own imprint on the campus and create their own legacies. The Shadows and Echoes Sculpture Garden has been a resounding success for the university, and, when we look back at generations of Chancellors at IU Northwest, Bruce Bergland will be remembered for his determination and conviction in creating the sculpture garden for this campus.”
The collaboration of sculpture and landscape architecture pays tribute to the environment that surrounds us and to the industrial influences of the region. This investment in the cultural aspect of the university impacts the aesthetic value and cultural diversification of the campus climate. Outdoor sculpture by nature is public and, like architecture, is dependent on commissions and site for the fulfillment of its vision.
Both the garden and its sculptures, for instance, closely reflect the culture and ecology of Northwest Indiana: an industrial landscape at the eastern edge of the prairie. The landscape portion of the design is meant to complement the sculptures while creating a serene and simple backdrop reflective of the ecological heritage of our region.
Landscape Architect Cynthia Owen-Bergland states, “It is my intent that the grasses and flowers in this garden reflect the spirit of place of the disappearing Savannas, and that the fountain and boulders remind us of our ties to the ice and water that created the land here.”
Each work of Sculptor Neil Goodman frames the landscape with elegant, hand-carved metal lines outlining a three-dimensional space. The sculptures, for Goodman, act as “a lens: lines moving through space that charge the landscape like lightning, a great theater.” And these “lenses” are as much designed to call attention to the space around them—the environment, topography, and visual language of the region—as to themselves.
Indiana University Northwest is more than a university; it is a member of the community. The university recognizes that cultural discovery is an integral part of learning.
This discovery and learning includes building more awareness and involvement in the visual and performing arts through The Gallery for Contemporary Art and Theatre Northwest. The arts programs at IU Northwest have earned an excellent reputation throughout the region for their varied exhibits and production. In addition, the campus boasts the only complete metal foundry and workshop in Northwest Indiana.
Chancellor Emeritus Bruce W. Bergland, who served as the driving force behind the establishment of the Sculpture Garden and many of the arts endeavors at the Gary campus, explained that “the garden fulfills some of the major goals of IU Northwest’s long-range plan for the campus – enhancing cultural discover, particularly with respect to the region, and improving the aesthetic identity of the campus.” Both the garden and its sculptures, for instance, closely reflect the culture and ecology of Northwest Indiana: an industrial landscape at the eastern edge of the prairie.
As Sculptor Neil Goodman suggests, “More than just courses, a university should offer students examples of the culture and art of their own time, not just appropriated, overly familiar images, but a challenging artistic language to encounter as they walk through campus.”
In order to provide a centerpiece for the visual arts in northwest Indiana, the IUN Sculpture Garden, including sculptures, construction and landscaping, will cost as much as $500,000. Traditional avenues of university funding are not available for this project; however, through the private support of the community we can enhance the cultural climate of the campus and provide a philanthropic point of interest for the region.
Gifts of all sizes are acceptable and necessary to make this vision a reality. Individuals and organizations providing high-level gifts for the IUN Sculpture Garden can be permanently recognized for their affinity for the arts. Several naming opportunities are available. The IU Northwest Sculpture Garden is a top priority among projects to be funded privately.