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Paley’s Sentinel rises at heart of campus

An eye-catching sculpture that promises to “steel” viewers’ breath away will be dedicated Oct. 2. Created by Albert Paley, who holds the Charlotte Fredericks Mowris Chair in the School for American Crafts, The Sentinel will be a 30-foot-wide, seven-story-high, 110-ton armored guard made of stainless steel, bronze and Cor-Ten steel.

Albert Paley and a model of The Sentinel, which is being erected on the RIT campus this summer.

“This sculpture will act as a dynamic focal point and will reflect the identity of the RIT campus in years to come,” says Paley, who has completed more than 40 large-scale commissions including the Portal Gates for the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian and the 65-foot-high Genesee Passage at Bausch & Lomb’s Rochester headquarters. The RIT sculpture, which will stand in a new plaza at the entrance to the Eastman Building and the Student Alumni Union, will be Paley’s largest work.

“Students undergo a transformation at college and their views of the world become altered as their perceptions change,” says Paley. “Art has the ability to introduce a human dimension to the environment and I’m hoping that if someone walks by The Sentinel, it offers them an emotionally rich experience simply by the fact of just being there.”

RIT President Albert Simone believes the sculpture will become a symbol for the university. “Albert Paley’s magnificent work speaks to and celebrates arts and technology at RIT. We believe a good first impression of our campus will create a lasting one.”

To see The Sentinel construction online, go to www.rit.edu/paley.