Flourishing in the Heart of Woods Quad

Ringo Lisko, “Flourish,” cast bronze and stainless steel framework, approx. 8 ft H.

The UA Department of Art and Art History is pleased to announce the newest addition to the Woods Quad Sculpture Garden. The eight-foot-tall cast bronze crescent of camellias (Alabama’s state flower) is titled “Flourish,” and was designed and created by 2020 BFA major Ringo Lisko. Lisko’s design was selected to be the first created for the McMahon-Pleiad Public Art Trail initiative, a collaborative public sculpture project between The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and The University of Alabama in Huntsville, conceived by each institution’s sculpture professor: Craig Wedderspoon (UA), Stacy Holloway (UAB) and Chris Taylor (UAH). The McMahon-Pleiad prize was awarded by the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System.

The installation is the culmination of almost two years of work. The blossoms are camellias, Alabama’s state flower. After drawing the design and casting a bronze scale model of the sculpture, Lisko carved each flower – petals, leaves and all (there are 93 blossoms) – full-size in wax and cast all 93 flowers in bronze in the lost-wax method. She and colleague Jonathan Lanier then welded each blossom onto the eight-foot-high semi-circular stainless steel framework and installed it on campus.

Lisko, a New Mexico native, earned her BFA in studio art with concentrations in sculpture and drawing from UA in 2020. She now works as a foundry specialist in the department of art and art history’s metal shop. Her work has appeared in numerous shows and community sculpture projects. More of Lisko’s work can be seen on her website and Instagram page.

The goals of the McMahon-Pleiad Prize are to fund projects that advance the integrity and excellence of the System, incentivize innovation and promote unity among the UA System and its institutions. For Lisko, the flowers represent a “narrative of human potential—the potential to grow, love, and move forward,” as she wrote in her sculpture proposal. “I am particularly interested in the role of art within a community or network, and its ability to connect and foster relationships.” And these flowers especially flourish, blossoming in the historic heart of The University of Alabama campus.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.