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CAMPUS OBSERVATORY

Patrick Zentz, 2002

Conservatory

Zentz designed this sculpture to act as system reflective of the campus’s natural setting. In homage to the massive deposits of columnar basalt in the Inland Northwest, the sculpture’s base consists of cast hexagonal concrete columns. A steel and glass roof—etched with Mt. Spokane’s topography and providing atmospheric information—creates a protective arbor.

The image of the Spokane River is cut into the walkway, a nod to the campus’s name and namesake. An aluminum anemometer and wind vane atop the roof provide evidence of wind action, visible from both adjacent buildings and the enclosure. Finally, a gnomon adjacent to the structure casts its shadow into the interior of the enclosed space. At noon on the solstices and equinoxes, it intersects circular brass markers in the walkway.

A sculptor from Laurel, Montana, Zentz received his MFA from the University of Montana in Missoula. He was awarded an LEF Foundation Grant (1992), a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1990), and a grant from Art Matters (1988). His work has been exhibited throughout the nation, including the Yellowstone Art Museum, the San Antonio Museum of Art, Boulder Art Center, and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas.