Index Throwback: The Feminine Form Takes Shape

By Katie Schmitz

The sculpture outside of the Light Fine Arts Building is another aspect of Kalamazoo College’s campus that many students see every day, but not many actually know the history or meaning behind.

The sculpture, entitled “Prospect” was made by art Professor Marcia Wood in 1982 for K’s sesquicentennial celebration.

The project was funded by the Women’s Council of Kalamazoo. According to an interview with the council in a 1982 issue of the Index, the sculpture was intended to “promote women on campus,” as well as “honor [the artist] who is a woman.”

The Women’s Council continued, ‘the feminine curves and outstretching limbs are constructed of stainless steel. Catching and reflecting sunlight, the sculpture is intended to give a hopeful feeling.”

The sculpture took Professor Wood one and a half years to make, and cost $25,000. It weighs 4 tons. Wood expressed her hope that the sculpture would “speak for itself,” and she designed it specifically to compliment the Light Fine Arts Building.

Paul H. Todd, who was the Chair of the Board of Trustees in 1982, expressed hope that 150 years into the future a group of people might gather again, “graced by the same sculpture, celebrating all the exciting things that college is about.”

“In marking a new chapter in the history of the college I have designed a sculpture which in its

title suggests ’looking forward,” Wood explained to the 1982 Index. “…in its bright material a sense of ’promise and hope.’ The physical form of the sculpture is a figure, which creates its own environment. It invites one to see it from all sides; so walk under it and around it. I hope this sculpture will stand as an emblem of the creative work which is the life force of the college.”

Prof. Marcia Wood also has a sculpture of a similar motif on display in downtown Detroit.

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