Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design student Tristan Sisbach
of Epworth, Iowa, was recently recognized for her “Breathe” sculpture, which was selected
as the winner of the 2011 Festival of the Arts civic sculpture competition.
She unveiled her sculpture during the closing event of the fourth annual month-long Festival of the Arts on Feb. 27 at the Big Rapids High School Auditorium.
“Coming from Iowa, I fell in love with the Great Lakes. When I first moved to Michigan, I would take my sketch book and camera to the beach and admire the movement and color,” said Sisbach, a senior in Kendall’s Sculpture and Functional Art program.
Sisbach said she was inspired by the colors, textures and movement of Lake Michigan. She also drew motivation from the sunsets, clouds, sand dunes, waves, drift wood, beach glass and dune grass she experienced during her visits to the beach.
“I want people to be inspired by the elements and movement of the sculpture. It’s about the idea of motion and color. I wanted to showcase how beautiful Michigan and the Great Lakes are,” she said.
“Winning this competition is great exposure as a senior getting ready to graduate. I’m really proud of this piece and hope this will help me jump start my career,” Sisbach added.
The Sculpture and Functional Art program at Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids focuses on three-dimensional creative problem solving. Students design, sculpt, cast, carve and create unique objects in metal, wood, plastic, clay and mixed media.
“When I first came to Kendall, I was unsure of what I wanted to study. After taking one 3D design class with Paul Amenta, I fell in love with the Sculpture and Functional Art program,” Sisbach said.
Her sculpture will be put on permanent display at Swede Hill Park in Big Rapids sometime this summer. Until then, it will be displayed in the lobby of the Big Rapids City Hall.
This fall, Festival organizers invited Kendall students and graduates within the past three years to participate in a sculpture design competition. Sisbach was awarded $4,000 for her winning entry.
Bruce Dilg, chairman of the Festival of the Arts, said, “It is a thrill that Tristan was able to create the piece she has. It will serve as a permanent bridge or ‘link’ between Ferris and the Big Rapids community.”