The University of Southern Mississippi started its Outdoor Sculpture Competition in 2014 to feature art across campus grounds. The competition is open to international artists and teams 18 years of age and older. The competition seeks five stunning outdoor sculptures to be exhibited on campus for an 18-month duration.
Not only does hot-dip galvanizing protect the sculpture from the environment, it offers superior durability with no required maintenance.
Close Encounter is an abstract geometric sculpture study submitted to the competition in 2018. The form begins with a geometric sphere, which may be comprised of either a single polygon shape or multiple polygon shapes. From that shape, each plane is then extruded from the different components or legs of the sculpture. The geometric sphere becomes the “core” of the piece while the other tubular pieces shoot out from the center in varying calculated lengths to compose the star. Close Encounter was selected as a winner of the 2018 Outdoor Sculpture Competition and will be featured on the University of Southern Mississippi Campus, outside the Structural Steel Services 3-D Art Building until 2020.
There are specific eligibility requirements artists had to keep in mind throughout the design process to ensure their sculpture would be suitable for the competition. The college specifies the sculptures must be impervious to the elements and require no maintenance. Safety and durability are also essential considerations. Additionally, the sculpture must be suitable for display in a public setting and able to withstand adverse weather conditions that include high winds and lots of rain and humidity. These requirements led Phil Proctor, designer of Close Encounter, to hot-dip galvanizing as a means to protect the steel structure. Not only does hot-dip galvanizing protect the sculpture from the environment, it offers superior durability with no required maintenance. The hot-dip galvanized finish also gives the piece a bright silver color, which was a preferred aesthetic over oxidized or painted metal. Hot-dip galvanizing allowed the complexities of this structure to receive full corrosion protection inside and out for better all-around coating coverage and longevity of the artwork.
“As a sculptor artist, I strive to design and execute artworks that intrigue and inspire a view about their place in an environment or space. My work exhibits a relationship between our existence as human species and the universe in which we exist.” –Phil Proctor, Close Encounter Artist
Hattiesburg, MS United States
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Sustainability
All Sculpture Components
Nucleus Sculpture Studio, LLC
University of Southern Mississippi
Valmont Coatings - Birmingham Galvanizing
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