MADISON, Wis. — Truman Lowe’s aluminum sculpture, Effigy: Bird Form, has returned to UW-Madison and found its new home on the North Lawn near Van Hise Hall 26 years after its creation.
UW-Madison officials, Ho-Chunk Nation leaders and community members gathered on Friday to honor the piece and the distinguished artist, who died in 2019.
Lowe had previously said the sculpture, which features open air between metal pieces, represents the loss of Indigenous burial mounds, but also celebrates and strength and spirit of Wisconsin Indigenous traditions.
After its creation in 1997, the work was showcased in a yearlong exhibition of twentieth century works at the White House Jacqueline Kennedy Garden.
Lowe worked with Larry Sailing, a shop foreman at Hooper Corporation, for 200 hours to create the sculpture.
“Truman was very soft spoken, had a good sense of humor, very kind, very easy going,” Sailing said. “I can’t say how much of an honor it was to work with him.”
Lowe, a UW-Madison alumnus and professor emeritus, always left an impact on his students, according to his daughter Tonia Lowe.
“He supported them by supporting their ideas,” Lowe said. “He knew how to say exactly the right thing to nurture that idea until it fully thrived.”