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Green Oaks Sculptures

Professor and Students Bring Art to Green Oaks

Green Oaks Biological Field Station is a place of natural beauty, but some of the most interesting things you might see there are not part of the natural landscape.

In the summer of 1996, the sights and sounds of metalworking joined those of prairie, forest and lake at Green Oaks, Knox College's biology research area in central Knox County, as art professor Tony Gant and two of his students -- Bill Clements and Jason Eisener -- created three large metal sculptures outside Schurr Hall.

The sculptures are made from metal tanks, rods, springs and other items scavenged from the Knox campus, purchased from a scrap yard and found at Green Oaks. "We used a door from an old VW van that we found in the woods," Gant said.

The sculptures are an outgrowth of work Clements (left) did for his senior art portfolio and other sculptures he built on the Knox campus. The College's biology department donated oxygen for the welder, and Galesburg Scrap and Steel Company gave a discount on the scrap metal, Gant said.

"The sculptures are not just for viewing," said Eisener (above right). "We hope people will explore them as musical instruments."

"Gas tanks from 1970's GM cars have great resonance," explained Clements, as he tapped on a tank welded to a pan that originally came from a hog feeder. "These structures work on multiple levels, engaging people physically as well as visually."

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