University Museums

Title: Link
Name: Mural
Date: 2000
Medium: Acrylic paint on treated lumber core panels
Dimensions: 60 x 30 x 3/4 in. (152.4 x 76.2 x 1.9 cm) 60 x 30 x 3/4 in. (152.4 x 76.2 x 1.9 cm) 60 x 30 x 3/4 in. (152.4 x 76.2 x 1.9 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Art in State Buildings Program for the Communications Building, in the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Location: Iowa State University, Communications Building, East entry across room 1200
Object Number: U2000.45
More Information
Link explores the connections between people and technology. The panels revolve around the processes associated with types of communication and incorporate symbols and metaphors to create dialogues about communication. The panels represent a historic narrative of communication through time and space, from simple to complex, and from antiquity through futuristic. Various forms are represented, including verbal, radio, interstellar, and computer communication as well as sign language, and Morse code.

The left panel incorporates a satellite dish in a rural scene, referring to the roots of Iowa State University as an agricultural-based institution. The right panel portrays a futuristic communications tower and has a mysterious quality hinting at the unknown. The center panels focus on communications hardware. The panels form a grid underscore the idea that numbers and mathematics create the base of today's communication. The colorful geometric compositions are symbolic of energy, activity and music.

Jack Wilkes’ art revolves around sign, symbol, allegory, and architecture. He gravitates toward historical, social, and spiritual references in both object and architecture while trying to understand the power these objects possess. Wilkes is a Drake University graduate with a MFA in painting. He has taught at several universities, including Iowa State University.