Â Â Â A forgotten sculpture, one of many works of art scattered throughout the University of Memphis, sits in disrepair in front of the Communication and Fine Arts building after years of neglect.
Â Â Â The piece was donated to the university more than 15 years ago. No one can remember the artworkâ€™s name, even though renowned artist Charles Hook created it.
Â Â Hook was an internationally known sculptor and an art professor at Florida State University. After a two-year battle with cancer, he passed away March 18, 2008, at the age of 59.
Â Â Although much of Hookâ€™s work is displayed at the 621 Gallery Sculpture Garden in Tallahassee, Florida, this piece, resembling a wagon, was given to the University and has fallen apart, much like some of the other works on campus.
Â Â Students created most of the art placed around campus, said Greely Myatt, a professor and the sculpture program coordinator.
Â Â â€œOver the years theyâ€™ve been sort of put there and probably need to be taken out, cleaned upâ€”some of them are falling apart,â€ Greely said. â€œThose wagons have been tipped over so many times.â€
Â Â Â The sculptures have become dilapidated with the passing of time, but they have also deteriorated after years of abuse from students.
Â Â â€œSome of these are metal and rusty,â€ said Laurie Snyder, assistant to the dean for undergraduate students in Communication and Fine Arts. â€œIâ€™ve seen kids climb on these, so yes, things are going to get damaged. So yes, if itâ€™s all busted up, it probably needs to be replaced.â€
Â Â Â Myatt and students alike also acknowledged that many of the pieces have broken down because of the skate boarders that jump on them as if they were ramps.
Â Â The sculptures, Hookâ€™s in particular, are in need of repair, Myatt said. However, no one is sure who is responsible for the maintenance of the works.
Â Â â€œWell the museum sort of has some responsibility for it except that they donâ€™t have any financial support,â€ Greely said. â€œUsually, they alert somebody, which is probably me.â€
Â Â Â Although Greely says that the museum is responsible for the up-keep of the works, assistant director at the art museum on campus, Lisa Abitz, does not know who exactly is responsible, the museum or the sculpture department, as many of the sculptures are student-made or have been given to the University by friends of Myattâ€™s.
Â Â â€œThat is always open for interpretation, it varies from day to day,â€ Abitz said. â€œ[Itâ€™s] up to Greely to communicate with the artist.â€
Â Â Myatt is still able to communicate with many of the artists to repair the sculptures as he has worked with or taught them in the past. With the passing of Hook, however, Myatt or the museum will become responsible for repairing the sculpture.Â