Making The Encounter

Making the Encouner

 CONCEPT AND DESIGN

Leslie Colonna, Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Lewis University, received her Master’s degree in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and was the principal artistic consultant and visualizer of The Encounter.  Leslie was able to bring her expertise in sculpture, art history, drawing and watercolor to turn the sculpture committee’s ideas into a sophisticated sculptural design.  Her solution includes three core components, subject, form, and content, blended together to create the final design.  First, the design faithfully represents the subject and story of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, seen through the figure’s physical characteristics and the doorway.  Second, its realistic and dynamic composition come from the use of formal principles of design and proportion, influenced by classical sculpture.  Finally, the design visually expresses the dominant symbolic meaning the committee was striving for, as seen in the figure’s outstretched hand and its implied movement through the door. 

Leslie worked closely with Dr. Kurt Schackmuth, Vice President for Student Life and Chief Mission Officer and Alec Smith, the sculptor/fabricator, as Alec expertly translated the design into three dimensions, to make sure those qualities of the subject, form, and content were effectively transferred into the finished sculpture.  From Leslie’s point of view, the final outcome is everything she hoped for, thanks to the tireless efforts and patience of all.  The sculpture is interactive and inclusive.  Viewers can naturally participate with it on multiple levels.  And it visually expresses the essence of the mission of Lewis University.  Leslie was grateful and delighted to have been part of the project. 

What follows are sketches of the early monument concepts, as well as specific aspects of it, including the statue of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.


	lightbox for jqueryby VisualLightBox.com v5.7


 CONSTRUCTION OF THE MONUMENT

In addition to a statue of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, The Encounter monument features a brick archway and two large wooden doors. The brick archway was created by members of Lewis University’s Facilities Department. The unique doors were created by Millwork, LLC.

Many thanks to Jeffrey Festin (Brickmason) and Keith Kameron (Associate Vice President for Facilities) for their participation in creating The Encounter monument.


Although initial site preparations and foundation work began in November 2018, site construction began in earnest in March 2019.  The monument is situated near the center of campus near the University Green. Construction of the doorway structure begins to take shape. Masonry work for the project was completed by Lewis University’s Facilities Department. Brick for the project matches that of other campus buildings, including nearby North Hall. Finishing touches on the doorway are put in place.  Brick pedestals for the interpretative signage are constructed; the monument was completed in April, 2019. The doors were fabricated off-site and were finished to withstand harsh weather. lightbox for jqueryby VisualLightBox.com v5.7


 DE LA SALLE STATUE (CONCEPT AND INSTALLATION)

How The Encounter Statue was Built

On September 25, 2019, artist and sculptor Alec M. Smith discussed the process of creating the unique statue of Saint John Baptist de La Salle that is a prominently featured in The Encounter monument at Lewis University.




Alec M. Smith drove the finished statue of Saint John Baptist de La Salle from Minneapolis to Lewis University to be installed with the assistance of the members of the Facilities Department.


A member of the Facilities Department works on installing the brick pavers that surround The Encounter monument.
A member of the Facilities Department works on installing the brick pavers that surround The Encounter monument.
Sculptor Alec Smith arrives on campus with the statue of Saint John Baptist de La Salle after driving it from the Minneapolis-area of Minnesota to Romeoville. Smith marks where holes need to be drilled so the sculpture of De La Salle can be installed into the monument. Facilities gets to work drilling the holes so the statue of De La Salle can stand.

All together! Smith and members of Facilities work to install the statue.
Mission completed! The statue of De La Salle is officially installed into The Encounter.
Mission completed! The statue of De La Salle is officially installed into The Encounter.
With the statue installed, the last thing is for Facilities to finish the brick pavers and the landscaping surrounding The Encounter	.
With the statue installed, the last thing is for Facilities to finish the brick pavers and the landscaping surrounding The Encounter .
lightbox for jqueryby VisualLightBox.com v5.7

Invisible line, width of the page