Dumpster to main stage for rescued sculpture

A centennial gift given to the McIntosh Gallery through the Ontario Arts Council has returned to its original home after 41 years.

Physical Plant workers Marc VandenHuevel and Marc Comtois get instructions from Western professor emeritus Ed Zelenak, creator of the sculpture, about proper placement in front of the McIntosh Gallery.

The untitled steel sculpture by former Western professor Ed Zelenak (Visual Arts, 1979-’88) was originally installed on the front lawn of the gallery in 1967 as part of the Ontario Centennial Art Exhibition, one of 178 pieces by artists from Ontario and Quebec for this exhibition that travelled to galleries throughout Ontario.

At some point, the sculpture was moved to the courtyard outside the Spencer Engineering Building. Later it was moved to make room for construction and was broken in the process.

Located in a dumpster, the artwork was retrieved and returned to the gallery, where it sat behind the building for a period of time.

“I discovered it on my first tour around the outside of the building,” says McIntosh acting director Judith Rodger, who was looking to create a stronger visible presence for the gallery.

“I thought the installation of this sculpture would increase the visibility of the McIntosh on campus. It also honours the heritage of the building because the work was first installed on the front lawn in 1967.”

The sculpture was restored under the direction Zelenak and is one of 23 works he has in the McIntosh collection. It is also the second sculpture Zelenak has installed on campus, the other being Ra’s Voyage – with 5 Plane Crescent, located just outside of the Ivey School of Business.