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School of Performing and Visual Arts

Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

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The biennial 2021 USM Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Art and Design program and Partners for the Arts, features the work of nationally recognized artists and will remain on campus through March 2023. 


Jennifer Torres

“Public art aims to not only beautify campus but also to promote the exchange of ideas and enhance the campus experience. This year we have some amazing large-scale outdoor works that will make you stop and engage in conversations, as you’ll find them inspiring and interesting."

Jennifer Torres, professor of Art and Design

2021 Sculptures

Action Reaction by Chris WubennaAction Reaction by Chris Wubbena

Location: In front of the Liberal Arts Building
Stainless steel, acrylic, and spray paint
9’10” x 4’6” x 2’6”, 2019

Chris Wubbena’s work is inspired by classical figurative sculpture along with geologic and Neolithic rock formations, and takes a closer look at the individual, the person, and the weight they assume.

The abstracted figurative form exists in a state of perpetual action and reaction as its stainless-steel body constructs and twists under a large, painted, rock-like mass. The painted, layered histories accumulated atop the figurative form expresses the here and now with the use of applied text and imagery. 

Chris Wubbena

Chris Wubbena holds an MFA in Art with a Sculpture Emphasis from San Francisco State University, and a BFA in Art with a Sculpture Emphasis and a Creative Writing Minor from the University of Northern Iowa. He is currently a tenured Full Professor of Sculpture at Southeast Missouri State University.  

His work has been exhibited in outdoor and indoor exhibitions throughout the United States, in such exhibitions as The Chicago Sculpture Exhibit, Chicago, IL; Art In Place, Charlottesville, VA; The Yokna Sculpture Trail, Oxford, MS; and more, and he has also completed a number of outdoor commissioned projects.

The public sculpture titled Commence, commissioned by the City of Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri State University, was completed for the Fountain Street Roundabout in 2017, and the public sculpture titled Forward, commissioned by Mississippi Power Company, in Gulfport, Mississippi was completed in 2007 to commemorate the work done by Mississippi Power employees during and after the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina.

In addition, Wubbena has been awarded various grants for the completion of larger indoor installation projects that have been exhibited in Virginia, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri, including a Mississippi Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellowship with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for the completion on Wubbena’s de minimis series and multiple Grants and Research Funding Committee Grants from Southeast Missouri State University. His project research has taken him to Italy, France, England, and Vietnam where he conducted research for a project titled speaking while listening, which is an expression, through sculptural installation, of the Viet Nam/American war and its contemporary relevance. 

Portal by Kelsey WishikPortal by Kelsey Wishik (USM Alumna)

Location: In front of the International Center
2019, steel with patina
8 1/2’’ft x 3 1/2 ft x 3 ft 8”

Kelsey Wishik explores themes of consciousness, identity, travel, transformation, micro and macrocosmic relationships, and spirituality.

Through sculpture, two-dimensional works, music, and movement, Wishik seeks to discover the diverse capacities of creativity as a unifying language, form of responsive intelligence, and tool for empowered human development.  

Kelsey Wishsik

Kelsey Wishik is a multi-media artist with works ranging from two dimensional drawings and paintings to sculpture, performance, and installation. Wishik has lectured, hosted workshops, and participated in group and solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Additionally, her work ranges from the personal to the public, featured in private and public spaces around the world. Explore her work.


Piece by Matt MoyerWhen One Door Closes, Another Door Opens…
By Matt Moyer

Location: Between Cook and McCain Libraries
Steel, each piece- 4 feet by 16 inches by 7 feet

Matt Moyer explores unexpected opportunities that come from unfortunate events. All of us have had these difficult events happen. He highlights that often times, patience and a resilient attitude lead to new opportunities that would not have been possible before or without such a set-back.

These three aged doors with deep patina represent this timeless scenario, a closed door hinting at the possibilities that lie beyond if you are willing to be patient and approach with an open mind from all angles to find a new and unique perspective that will change and improve your life. 

Matt MoyerMatt Moyer earned a BFA in Ceramics with a minor in Graphic Design from Illinois State University. Between undergraduate and graduate school, he served as Artist in Residence at the Herbert Hoover National Historical site in West Branch Iowa as part of the National Park Service Artist in Residence Program. He earned an MFA in Ceramics with a minor in Sculpture from the University of Missouri. While at the University of Missouri he traveled abroad and served as Artist in Residence at The Tainan National University of the Arts where he worked and exhibited for six months.

Moyer's creative research takes him in several different directions at any given time; ranging from functional pottery to mixed media ceramic sculpture and large outdoor welded steel installations. All his work is firmly rooted within traditional craft as it pertains to both art and skilled trades, and all facets of his creative work have a decidedly industrial sensibility. This stems from his blue-collar upbringing in Moline, Illinois.

Moyer has taught at several colleges and universities in Missouri but now maintains his active ceramics and sculpture studio at his home in Columbia, Missouri.


Yellow RosesYellow Roses by Laura E. Walters 

Location: Behind the Liberal Arts Building 
2018, mild steel
45”h x 96”w x 40”d

Laura E. Walters's work channels the underlying energy and rhythms of the natural world, transforming metal into elegant sculptures that celebrate the beauty and complexities of our universe. From her early works in bronze to more recent pieces in steel, delicate and organic shapes emerge in a variety of scales. She is inspired by nature’s infinite forms and fascinated by the inherent motion and universal patterns found in both natural and manmade objects. 

Though she's worked in a variety of materials, her current medium is steel. She is drawn to the seductive quality of molten metal and its ability to make a fleeting idea permanent. Frida Kahlo once said, “I paint flowers so that they do not die.” She believes this is the same reason she has chosen to create organic forms in steel. The unique energy of each entity, real or imagined, is something worth preserving.

Laura E. WaltersLaura E. Walters is a native of Texas now based in Dallas, Walters studied sculpture at the School of Visual Arts in New York, the University of North Texas in Denton, and the Creative Arts Center of Dallas. She also studied figurative sculpture at The Studio of George Davis.  Laura opened her own studio in 2000 where she began creating her Aqua Designs Collection. 

Walters’s sculptures can be found in public and private collections including Hometown Community, North Richland Hills, Texas; Hilton Hotel, Costa Mesa, CA; City of Dallas, Texas, Lake Highlands Town Center; Hurst Convention Center, Texas; Baylor All Saints Fort Worth Regional Hear Center, Texas; St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Coral Gables, Fla.; and Neiman Marcus, Dallas, Texas.

Walters’s largest work to date at 20 feet in height—Suspended in Bloom, 2013—is located in the motor court at Vitruvian Park, Fiori in Addison, Texas.


Our Past Sculptures



Victoria by Chris Wubbena

Eudora Welty Wreath by Kristen Tordella-Williams

Close Encounter by Phil Proctor

Slide Key by Noah Kirby



It's All About Electricity by Richard Herzog

Better Days by Nathan Pierce

Appalachian Balance Beam by Durant Thompson

Delphinian by Andrew Light


Piece by Ray Katz

Piece by Ray Katz

Piece by Adam Bodine

Piece by Adam Bodine

Piece by Carl Billingsley

Piece by Carl Billingsley

Piece by Joni Younkins-Herzog

Piece by Joni Younkins-Herzog

Piece by Jim Buonaccorsi

Piece by Jim Buonaccorsi