Life + Arts

Art Across Campus: Tower of the Cheyenne

American sculptor Forakis first finished “Tower of Cheyenne” in the early ’70s; he also played a role in its re-fabrication more than 30 years later in 2004.

“When it was first commissioned, it was intended to be a water feature,” UH Curator of Public Art Michael Guidry said. “Water was going to pour out the ends of the piece, so there was plumbing installed and the ends of all the triangular forms were open.”
When the plumbing did not function properly, the open structure was overtaken.

“Over time, the community of pigeons inhabited it into a high-rise pigeon hotel,” Guidry said. “From living in there, the COR-TEN steel started to deteriorate.”

The COR-TEN steel of which “Tower of Cheyenne” is constructed can be recognized in several works of art around campus.

“It’s an amazing material,” Guidry said. “The first eighth of an inch of the surface is intended to rust andoxidize. So when you see a rusty sculpture, it’s actually intended to be like that.

“COR-TEN was really popular in that era of time.”

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