The Perfect Cube - Scottish Rite



The Perfect Cube Press Release
Installation April 12th at 9:00 AM

The University of Nebraska Department of Art and Art History Sculpture Program has partnered with the Scottish Rite to create a public sculpture designed by former student Charles Fisher.  In the Spring of 2011 Scottish Rite member Larry Jacobsen contacted Dr. Robert Carlson chair of the Department of Art and Art History and sculpture professor David Helm to discuss the possibility of commissioning a student designed public artwork.  The proposed artwork was intended to symbolize the ideals of the Scottish Rite as well as the strong bond between UNO and the Scottish Rite.  It was agreed that Professor Helm would assign an advanced sculpture class the task of preparing proposals to be presented to the  Cathedral Board of the Scottish Rite.  

Professor Helm designed an assignment in which students would begin by  researching the history and public function of the Scottish Rite.   Mr. Jacobsen presented the class with the following description of the values of the organization:

            There is a renewed focus on the relevance of Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite
             in the 21st century, so we are embarking on many initiatives to educate our
             members as well as    the general public on the tenets of Masonry. Words like
            fellowship, brotherhood, truth, compassion, charity, respect, justice, tolerance
             and responsibility are just some of the commonly used terms to describe
             our purpose. Ethics is probably the single word that best encompasses our cause.

Helm's students began their designs by formulating a list of criteria that they felt defined good public art:
·         Partially conforms to the notions of the patron, partly demonstrates the individual artist’s vision.
·         Stability
·         Monumentality
·         Sensitivity to space and surroundings
·         Sensitivity to viewers
·         Aesthetically pleasing
·         Sense of purpose
·         Technical excellence
·         Interactive, and/or touchable
·         Permanence
·         Universal content
·         Thought Provoking
·         Creates a connection with an audience
·         Theme or symbolism fits the venue
·         Visually interesting
·         Incites an emotional response

Students then visited the building, met with members and administrators, studied public art and learned how to design and construct a proposal for this type of project. On April 26th of 2011 the 6 students presented their projects.  Though all presentations were outstanding, the Cathedral Board selected Charles Fisher's proposal titled the Perfect Cube.

Fisher says he was  "was struck by the images of the unfinished and perfect blocks of stone in their meeting room. The notion of humans moving through life from a rough hewn being to something more perfect that exists within us is an idea I wished to utilize for the public space outside the entrance."

For the last two years, Helm, Fisher and Jacobsen have met with engineers and fabricators planning out how to  build and install the 6 ft high cube while staying within their $5000 budget. 
On April 12th 2013 at 9:00 am, the Sculpture now titled the ........ , fabricated by The Heartland Scenic Studio, will be installed in the courtyard at the intersection of Douglas and 20th streets.