The practice of commissioning, purchasing and accepting gifts of artworks has a rich history on the campus of the University of North Texas. In 2009, UNT initiated its Art in Public Places Program. UNT’s Denton campus currently displays more than 80 works of art in various media ranging from a 1920s equestrian bronze sculpture by Constance Whitney Warren to a 2015 site-specific glass design by Norie Sato. As a public institution of higher learning, UNT nurtures performance and research in art and promotes an appreciation for creative expression. New buildings and donations provide opportunities to create iconic spaces and integrate works of art into campus life. The selection of artworks that are diverse in content, genre, and media is an outward manifestation of the value UNT places on the diversity of its constituents.
The Arts in Public Places is a program of the University of North Texas managed by the College of Visual Arts and Design. For more information, contact Eric Ligon, associate dean, CVAD Administrative Affairs, or Stefanie Dlugosz-Acton, director and curator, CVAD Galleries at UNT.
View the Collection through the StoryMap App
Can't get out to see the sites? View many of the AiPP exhibits through an ArcGIS StoryMap created by UNT Facilities Services until you can get to campus to see the collection in person! Just scroll through the images to view.
Note: The list below includes more exhibits that those listed in the StoryMap — these numbers do not correlate to those in the StoryMap.
*2021 commissioned work — to be announced.
1. Barrett DeBusk, Caged and Confused, c. 1982
i-beams, rebar, stone, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.12
This was created by then student Barrett DeBusk (M.F.A. ’86) for the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design Annual Voertman Student Art Competition. This large-scale work was purchased by the College of Visual Arts and Design after DeBusk won an award for the piece in the competition. DeBusk, a Fort Worth-based artist, was inspired by church steeples when creating this piece. Steel beams imitate a bell arch while the stone acts as a bell.
2. Charles Williams, Earth Mother, 1958
limestone from Carthage, Mo., AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.21
Originally commissioned for Ted and Lucile Weiner’s Fort Worth sculpture collection, “Mother Earth” was donated to UNT in 1973 by Regent and Mrs. Hugh Wolfe after they bought the Weiner's home. This piece, created from five large blocks of Carthage marble, sits atop a hill that was built up specifically for its placement. Williams, who was well known for his architectural sculptures, created a smooth silhouette that moves the viewer’s eye around the piece. Today, it serves as a popular landmark used to identify the UNT Art Building, home of the College of Visual Arts and Design.
3. Mac Whitney, Carrizo, 1992
cut and shaped steel, paint, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.14
Mac Whitney, known for bending huge pieces of steel to create large-scale works of art, resides in Ovilla, Texas. His work is featured in museums and galleries across the nation and in public spaces throughout Texas. Whitney took part in the annual Texas Sculpture Symposium (1970-1980), which brought deserved attention to sculpture in public spaces. Carrizo was donated by Mrs. Lucille "Lupe" Murchison to commemorate the founding of the original School of Visual Art at UNT.
Environmental Education, Science & Technology Building
4. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series and Dr. J.K.G. Silvey, 1998
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession numbers: UNT.2010.57-.72 & .93 and UNT.2010.25, respectively
This sculpture series is part of the Crow Creek Collection of Native Texas Animals. The series was created by artist and alumnus David Iles (M.F.A. ca. ’84) and donated by Dallas-based art collector, Trammell Crow. The animals are used as teaching tools at the Elm Fork Education Center, the public branch of the Environmental Institute of Applied Sciences. Plaques corresponding to each animal include information about habitat, behavior, and diet. A duplicate set of “Native Texas Wildlife Series” can be found at the Dallas Arboretum.
The final installment in the Wildlife Series represents the human species, created to recognize the wise counsel and outstanding contributions of Dr. J.K.G. Silvey, affectionately known as “Doc Silvey,” who was chair of the UNT Department of Biology from 1952-1973 and retired as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 1977. The sculpture, unveiled April 25, 2008, depicts Silvey studying the contents of a beaker, surrounded by tools and objects that represent his interests. Funding for the statue was raised through joint efforts by the UNT Department of Biological Sciences, the Institute of Applied Sciences, and the J.K.G. Silvey Society, Inc.
5. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, lizard
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.68
6. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, raccoon
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.67
7. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, deer
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.65
8. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, fox
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.64
9. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, armadillo
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.62
10. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, snake
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.93
11. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, coyote
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.59
12. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, rabbit
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.58
13. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, bobcat
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.71
14. David Iles, Native Wildlife Series, squirrel
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.72
15. Nancy Graves, Taxidermy Camel, 1979
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.24
The first woman to have a solo exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art, international artist Nancy Graves is known for her figurative pieces featuring the anatomy of animals. Influenced by the 17th-century anatomists and her experience in natural history museums, she chose to focus on the camel for its scale, shape and lack of Western art historical references. The sculpture was donated to UNT by Mrs. Lucille "Lupe" Murchison. Originally displayed at the Art Building, it was moved to the Environmental Education, Science and Technology building in 1998.
General Academic Building
16. Constance Whitney Warren, Equestrian, Portrait of Diego Velásquez, 1924
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.22
In this piece, Constance Whitney Warren, who specialized in bronze equestrian statues, portrays the Spanish Baroque painter Diego Velásquez on horseback with a small artist pallet near the horse's front hooves. It was donated by Harlan Crow Family in 1994 and placed near the General Academic Building in a small clearing surrounded by trees. The sculpture was situated in this location to begin a practice of placing works of art in more public spaces around campus.
17. Gerald Balciar, In High Places, 1990
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.23
Gerald Balciar's large sculpture of a soaring eagle serves as a rallying point for the UNT community, Dedicated in 1990 as part of the UNT Centennial celebration, it is located in the center of campus and serves as a popular landmark and meeting place for UNT students. Balciar, who specializes in realistic wildlife sculptures, is featured in numerous corporate and private collections across the United States. He is known for developing a process that takes small maquettes and re-sizes them to life-size or larger proportions.
University Union, Fourth Floor
18. Norie Sato, Quiet and Soaring, 2016
digital print, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2016.02
Commissioned for the renovation of the University Union. Norie Sato's glass is the front of the Meditation Room and composed of an abstracted eagle wing and tail feathers. The wings evoke the ability to allow soaring in thought and emotion beyond the specific reference. The image is viewable from inside as well as outside and creates a more private, quiet space within away from the activities going on outside.
University Union, Second Floor, Dining Area
19. Murielle White, Ocean of Possibilities, 2016
oil on aluminum, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2016.01
Twelve-paneled mural with mixed media attached is by Murielle White; images relating to life on the UNT campus, cartography and travel; commissioned for the UNT Univesity Union.
University Union, South Lawn
20. Jesús Moroles, Shield, 2016
granite, UNT Union Collection
The sculpture features two 18’ panels of stone that weigh a combined 20 tons. Jesús Moroles' ('78, B.F.A.) acclaimed public art sculptures contributed to former President George W. Bush awarding him the 2008 National Medal of the Arts, the highest award given to artists by the U.S. president. The sculpture at UNT was financed by Jerome “Bruzzy” Westheimer.
Hurley Building, first-floor lobby
21. Gerald Balciar, Forever Free, 1988
bronze and wood, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.37
Forever Free was created in 1988 by artist Gerald Balciar. Balciar, who also created the large-scale bronze eagle sculpture titled High Places, located in the center of campus, is known for developing a process that makes maquette-sized works and sizes them to be life-size or larger.
22. Lyle Sopel, Pursuit, 2006
jade and silver, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.36
Premier gemstone sculptor Sopel is recognized by National Geographic Magazine as one of the most accomplished contemporary jade sculptors in the world, Sopel sculpts from nature, inspired by his belief that man and animal share the same universal spirit. His work is in private and public collections, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Donated by Margo and the late Bill Winspear in honor of Chancellor and President Emeritus Alfred F. Hurley and his wife Johanna, this piece was unveiled in November 2008.
23. Patrick Woodruff, Untitled, 1979
cut, welded steel, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.18
Patrick Woodruff ('84, B.F.A.) is a former UNT student who created this piece while studying in the undergraduate sculpture program. Purchased by Paul Voertman for UNT Art collection 1979. It was the first sculpture to win the first prize.
Music, Paul Voertman Courtyard
24. Richard Lang, Orpheus, ca. 1965
bronze, College of Music Collection
Richard Lang, a former faculty member in Art Education at UNT, was commissioned by Phi Mu Alpha to create this piece for the UNT College of Music. The Gamma Theta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha dedicated the sculpture in 1967.
25. Bruce Hall Murals | Note: Dining room-fee required
AIPP Collection, UNT.2010.52, Bruce Hall Mural
1935 Mural has been reinstalled in Bruce Cafeteria, where it has been displayed since 1988 and was temporarily removed during expansion of the cafeteria. 1935 Mural, painted by 14 North Texas students under the direction of art professor Ronald Williams, represents a specific historic and cultural moment for the University of North Texas, known in 1935 as North Texas State Teachers College. The campus, then part of the rural community of Denton, was greatly impacted by the economic and political climate of the period, which was dominated by the economic crises known as The Great Depression. The mural portrays campus life in the 1930s from the particular perspective of students, and the style shows influence from the contemporary art movements of American Regionalism and Social Realism.
In 2015, a second mural was added to Bruce Cafeteria, titled Denton Shuffle, by the artist partners Lisa Levine and Peter Tonningsen, also depicting campus life. While many aspects of campus life have endured and are reflected in both murals, the campus has also undergone crucial changes through its growth over 85 years. The most obvious growth, aside from the campus’ physical footprint and myriad academic programs, is in our community diversity. Learn more about the creation of the mural and its content and context, please read a timeline outlining community growth from 1935-2015 and a scholarly essay, both by Isabel Lee-Rosson (M.A., 2017).
Chilton Hall, first floor
26. Sterling Cook, The Student, 1940
cast marble, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.82
The Student was created in 1940 by then-graduate student Cook in a class under the direction of Dr. Louis Hoover for placement in Chilton Hall Men's Dormitory courtyard, where it sat for many years. In 1969 the statue was stolen by an unknown group of students and remained missing for many years. During renovations to Chilton Hall in 1989, The Student was found buried underground and broken into several pieces. Proposals to restore the work were sought by Ray McFarlene and Lindsey Keffer, and sculpture graduate student Larry Gentry was chosen to restore the piece, creating the work featured here today.
27. Jonathan Snow, The Sustaining Arch, 2008
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.35
Located in the Library Mall, Jonathan Snow's "Sustaining Arch" is dedicated to the memory of the University of North Texas students who died during their time on campus. Snow, (MFA '08), was commissioned by the Student Government Association in 2004 for the creation of this piece — an arch of cast books, with delicate traces of titles and fabrics.
28. Glenna Goodacre, The Runner, 1997
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.41
Glenna Goodacre, The Lovers, 1997
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.42
Dallas-based sculptor Glenna Goodacre is best known for creating the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington D.C. and designing the Golden Sacajawea Dollar. These works were originally designed as part of a multi-figure installation, Park Place, in Talkington Park Plaza in Glenna Goodacre's hometown of Lubbock, Texas.
29. George Lundeen, The Joy of Music, 1989
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.43
George W. Lundeen, internationally renowned for his commemorative busts and life-size figure groupings, created this week entitled "Joy of Music." The work featured here is a cast of an original that was commissioned in 1989 for the Civic Center of Loveland, Colorado which is Lundeen's hometown. "Joy of Music" represents the tradition of music at the University of North Texas and was placed in front of Mozart Hall to commemorate the talent of the residents who live in this particular residence hall.
30. Kent Ullberg, Spiriki, 2010
cast bronze, AIPP Collection, Accession number: UNT.2010.95
Spiriki, a bronze eagle statue, was unveiled in 2011 at UNT's Apogee Stadium. As Mean Green players take the field, they touch the statue to pledge their best efforts in the game. The statue by renowned wildlife sculptor Kent Ullberg was commissioned by the Geezles, a campus fraternity from the 1920s to the 1970s that includes many former athletes and coaches. The name "Spiriki" comes from an old fraternity greeting believed to be the combination of the words "spirit" and "kee," the cry of an attacking eagle.