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Monday, May 9, 2005

Hill Sculpture Provides Symbol For Southwest Missouri State

SALISBURY, MD---Dr. James Hill, chair of Salisbury University’s Art Department, has made his mark on the local art scene, both on the Eastern Shore and in the Midwest, where he formerly taught. Some of his most noticed local works include “Metaphorical Doorway,” a fixture outside SU’s Fulton Hall. He also directed SU students in creating a series of metal sculptures depicting Eastern Shore scenes along U.S. 13, commissioned by the renewal group Urban Salisbury Inc. as part of a highway beautification program. Their work recently earned awards from the City of Salisbury and Maryland State Highway Administration. Across the country, Hill’s work earned accolades in Springfield, MO, where his latest sculpture, “Citizen Scholar,” was commissioned as a permanent fixture on the Southwest Missouri State University campus. The statue features a young graduate holding the world above her head, symbolizing the university’s dedication to student accomplishment and public affairs. The sculpture, weighing approximately 3,800 pounds and standing about 17 feet tall, is the center of attention at a nine-nation conference on public affairs this spring.  The piece was dedicated April 15. The idea for the project began when Hill was approached by a student to sculpt an Atlas figure. When the president of SMSU saw the model he thought it perfectly matched the university’s mission.  The sculpture, cast by Santa Fe Bronze in New Mexico, was inspired by the artist’s daughter, Emily, who posed in her father’s cap and gown. Hill also had created a 13-foot bronze bear SMSU’s mascot, for the university where Hill was Art Department chair for six years. Back on the Shore, art lovers throughout the Delmarva Peninsula may view Hill’s work locally. At Aeire Art Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, DE, is the life-sized bronze, “The Secret,” a nude of a woman holding an apple in her palm with her fingers crossed.  Additionally, Hill has pottery on display at the Balcony Gallery of the Globe Theatre in Berlin, MD, and Bishop’s Stock Gallery in Snow Hill, MD. Additional sculptures are on exhibit at the Waterline Gallery in Berlin, as well as the MBT Gallery in Surf City, NJ. In creating art, Hill said he likes to present viewers with symbols through which they may contemplate the world they live in and its possible meanings. Hill said he enjoys being able to stimulate discussion and introspection leading to deeper understanding. For more information call 410-543-6270 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.

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