WMU News

Alumna's centennial sculpture will be unveiled

Oct. 15, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A professional sculptor whose work has been included in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions, including local, regional and national shows, returns to her alma mater this month to unveil her sculpture commemorating Western Michigan University's 100th anniversary.

Karla Wyss-Tye will unveil her sculpture during a noon dedication ceremony Thursday, Oct. 23, in front of the Seibert Administration Building. The event is part of the Centennial Scholar and Artist Series.

Wyss-Tye was one of a number of WMU alumni professionally engaged in the creation of large-scale sculptures who submitted proposals for an outdoor sculpture honoring the University's centennial. A panel of three art professionals screened applications and invited finalists to produce scale models of their proposed work, before selecting the winning piece. Panelists were Don Desmet, chief curator of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; internationally acclaimed sculptor Robert Stackhouse; and Carol Harrison, sculptor and former head of the WMU sculpture program.

Wyss-Tye's work has been included in the Michigan Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition sponsored by the Business Consortium for the Arts in Southfield, Mich., the All State Competition in Battle Creek, Mich., and the Krasl Biennial Sculpture Invitational through the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Mich.

Wyss-Tye is a founding member of the Kalamazoo Bronze Casting Company, a touring group that has exhibited in and around Michigan for several years. She has been a faculty member at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. She has been a guest lecturer at WMU on the topic of women in the arts and has conducted a patina workshop for the sculpture department.

Currently Wyss-Tye and her husband, William, own and operate the Alchemist-Tye Studio Inc. The Alchemist is a fine art foundry located in Kalamazoo that specializes in model making and casting using the lost wax method. They cast their own work and that of many professional artists, including Kirk Newman, Stephen Hansen, Carole Harrison, Frank Gallo and Virginio Ferrari. In 1996, they opened the Park Gallery, which specializes in bronze sculpture.

Wyss-Tye's sculpture "The Nightbird's Apprentice" is included in the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Permanent Collection. Her other works can be found at the Sturgis, Mich., Arts Council and the Douglas Community Center in Kalamazoo. Her work also is included in many private collections and is represented by the Cain Gallery in Saugatuck, Mich., the TRA Gallery at the Design Center in Troy, Mich., and the Park Gallery in Kalamazoo.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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