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Albert Paley’s Sentinel Featured in New Book Produced by RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press
The Sentinel—a 110-ton, 73-feet high towering sculpture of steel and bronze at the Rochester Institute of Technology —is the dramatic focal point on the university’s campus, and its creation—from start to finish —is chronicled in a new book, Sentinel.
To celebrate the book’s release, RIT will host a formal reception and book signing in the lobby of the George Eastman Building on the RIT campus at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Using text and photographs, Sentinel tells the story of the sculpture’s evolvement from an idea conjured up by internationally renowned sculptor Albert Paley, to its design, fabrication and installation. The book, produced by RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, also includes an in-depth interview with Paley about his thought process and the engineering considerations that influenced the Sentinel’s design.
Sam Hunter, professor emeritus at Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology contributed an essay in the book on the influence of Paley’s work in the context of art history. Jim Yarrington, director of campus planning at RIT served as editor of Sentinel and authored an essay about the sculpture’s place in RIT’s unique architectural environment.
“Albert Paley’s Sentinel succeeds in symbolizing and celebrating the fusion of art and technology at RIT, the hallmark of our university,” said RIT President Albert Simone. “The sculpture’s strength, beauty and grace spur the imagination and serve as a muse to all of life's possibilities. Sentinel tells the story of the Sentinel and captures the sculpture with stunning photography. Readers will enjoy this book and should consider it an open invitation to visit RIT and see for themselves this remarkable artistic achievement.”
The Sentinel is Paley’s largest commission to date and the largest sculpture on any campus across the United States. Paley is Distinguished Professor and Charlotte Fredericks Mowris Endowed Chair in the School for American Crafts at RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
In an excerpt from an in-depth interview with Paley, that is a feature of the book, he says, “I think education is a very magical process, and fundamentally deals with what people are about. People come to a college with a set of assumptions, a sense of who they are and what they are, and they have their own ideas of what the world is, and what their place is in it. At college, they learn new ideas, forcing them to rethink what they had thought. Hopefully, by the end of the college process, some sort of transformation happens. Someone’s new worldview could be diametrically opposed to what his or her initial belief system had been. I tried to show that sense of dynamism in the sculpture. Not one form overtaking another, but the forms in flux, continually in flux.”
Sentinel can be purchased online through the RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press Web site at http://library.rit.edu/carypress or at Amazon.com. The Press is the publication arm of RIT’s Melbert B. Cary Jr. Graphic Arts Collection and was established in 2001 to produce works of significant intellectual value for a scholarly audience.
MEDIA NOTE: Paley will be available for interviews at the Jan. 24th event.
BACKGROUND: Paley is the first sculptor to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects for his integration of art and architecture. He is currently under commission by the St. Louis Zoo to design its Ceremonial Gateway. The sculpture, to be installed this summer, will stand 40-feet high and will occupy a space 120-feet wide and 12-feet deep. Paley’s other signature projects have been installed in a variety of venues— from the Portal Gate for the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian, AT&T plaza sculpture in Atlanta, Ga. and a ceremonial archway in Philadelphia, to a 65-foot-sculpture at Bausch and Lomb’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. His works have graced the permanent collections of the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House Collection in Washington, D.C. and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.