University Museums

Media File
Title: Garden of Stone and Light
Name: Model
Date: 1989
Medium: Oil
Classification: Art on Campus Preparatory Studies and Maquettes
Credit Line: Iowa Art in State Buildings Project for Durham Computation Center with partial funding from the Class of 1939. In the Art on Campus Preparatory Studies and Maquette Collection, Christian Petersen Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: U89.64a-f
More Information
Installed in the atrium of Durham Computation Center, "Garden of Stone and Light" is reminiscent of ancient Mediterranean architecture and its interplay with humans. Keith Achepohl, while traveling in the Mediterranean region, was inspired by the permanance of the massive structures, built by a transient human force. This duality of permanence and transience is represented in his work by images of stone and light. Stone, permanent and durable, is a testament to history, while light, constantly shifting, is representative of today and the future.

The atrium of the Durham Center houses Keith Achepohl's multifaceted creation: The
Garden of Stone and Light. This project consists of several artistic elements created to
enhance the interior atrium space.

When entering the building the first recognizable feature is the granite column rising from the center of the floor. The pointed cap of the classical column echoes the surrounding architectural columns and then points up into the space sided by two large painted murals with imagery reminiscent of ancient Mediterranean architectural forms. This concept fits in well with the Durham Center's basic vertical post and horizontal lintel architectural design. The colors within the paintings bring to mind the somber Mediterranean earth and sky that Keith Achepohl undoubtedly witnessed during his visits to that area. Also important to the architectural effect of the paintings is the appearance of cut blocks of marble. This of course refers back to the column rising from the terrazzo floor also designed by Achepohl. When viewed from the floors above, the floor's pattern moves through the space to create a climax at the base of the column. The pattern mirrors garden reflecting pools of the Mediterranean- a place of retreat, solitude,
reflection and refreshment, to nurture the soul and intellect.