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Permaters.Perimeters. 1979




Sculpture Dimensions:

6 steel forms, 8’ high
Steel / Cast Iron / Glass / Wire

Permanently sited as Slow Dance
Blank Honors Center

University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa


This traveling exhibition was conceived during and following the installation of Post Sculpture and Eighth Continent, in reaction to many people saying to Wyrick:




It seemed to Wyrick at the time, which was filled with new ideas about art, including minimalism and conceptualism, that what they were saying was that Art had become “esoteric” or "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.”


So she set about to design an exhibition that allowed viewers to actually experience and feel  Art in order to gain an understanding of it.


In addition, she believed that Parameters. Perimeters. provided a complex exhibit for the public that challenged even those who thought they “understood” Art. The premise, set forward in the show catalog, was modeled on the style of a workbook. Each of the six 8’ high, 800-pound forms was the same, but their configurations were changed ten times during each exhibition and the viewers were challenged to write titles for each configuration. and also an overall title for the exhibition.


[The sculptures were exhibited within a boundary marked by one-foot wide black Formica glued to thin gauge metal strips and laid on the gallery floor. The outline was a square, with an opening to walk through, but some people walked over the boundary to enter. And this choice also influenced their perception of the exhibit.]


The most challenging request she made proved to be asking the public to provide titles that “connected” the sculptural groupings. At the end of the tour, one of the most often suggested titles was Slow Dance and that became its name after the tour as the forms were exhibited in other settings.


Several people told Wyrick after viewing the exhibit that they had gained understanding by walking within, as well as outside the boundary marker on the floor. They also told how seeing the forms in different configurations impacted their feelings.


For this exhibition that traveled for about two years, the artist received some other traveling exhibit funding from the Iowa Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and from each of the seven exhibit sites.


B1 P.P. Sculpt Center.jpg  _.jpg
B2 P.P. Sculpt CenterSWscans _ 3200dpi094.jpg _.jpg

Wyrick’s concept for the sculpture included her deeply felt need and inner compulsion to accomplish this work. The cast iron centers penetrated by a glass shard touched her viscerally as she felt the sharp projectile penetrating her and urging her on to create this work.

(watercolor) . . .

A1 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c. I 1978_79 c334.jpg
A4 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c. IV 1978_79 c335.jpg



A7 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c. VII 1978_79 c329.jpg


A2 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c. II 1978_79 c332.jpg
A5 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c. V 1978_79 c336.jpg


A8 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c. VIII 1978_79 c333.jpg



A3 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c. III 1978_79 c327 .jpg
A6 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c. VI 1978_79 c328.jpg


A9 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c.IX 1978_79 c330.jpg.jpg



A10 Parameters.Perimeters. w.c.X 1978_79 c331.jpg



Judith Green’s article on Parameters. Perimeters.  appeared in the Daily Iowan on November 2, 1999, and focused on her inaugural exhibition of Parameters. Perimeters. in the Armstrong Gallery, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. This exhibition also included her recently developed Needle Drawings.

Some of the exhibition's sites...

One of the sites above shows Parameters. Perimeters. sculptures inside the perimeters of
exhibition, marked on the floor, along with wall exhibits of Wyrick’s related artworks.

C1 P.P. Cornell exhibit article 11-02-79  2.jpg
C2 P.P. Iowa Arts Council 80-81 Touring .jpg
C2 P.P. Iowa Arts Council 80-81 Touring .jpg
C3 P.P. Blanden Museum, Ft. Dodge IA 8-22-81 to 9-27-81.jpg
C4 P.P. Minnetonka Center 9-9-80 to 10-10-80.jpg
C5 P.P. Employers Mutual D.M. 5-28-81.jpg
C5 P.P. Employers Mutual D.M. 5-28-81.jpg
C6 P.P. UIHC Exhibit.jpg

This site shows the forms inside the floor perimeters with the wall exhibits in place.

Responsibilities in booking exhibitions...

Wyrick learned rapidly about what it took to schedule exhibitions—it meant calling on each gallery director, “selling” the idea, obtaining a date to exhibit, preparing exhibition materials, and arranging physical moving of the works to and from the site. (She had chosen some difficult objects to move, she later admitted!)


These responsibilities, of course, are those of the showing of one’s artwork of any size.  Although she participated in several gallery shows as featured artist and as part of other individual and group exhibitions, none were as rigorous as Parameters. Perimeters.


              - LIFE AFTER TOURING...

Dr. Robert Fellows, head of the University of Iowa’s Physiology Department on the 5th floor of the Bowen Science Center, had intense interest in art and offered a space to have Parameters. Perimeters. on display in the Physiology Department. He named the area ArtSpace 5. It was difficult to move the pieces to the fifth floor from the ground level because the individual 8-foot tall pieces, on their sides, barely fit the irregularly shaped elevators.


The sculptures remained in ArtSpace 5 from October 1981 until September 2000 when remodeling the Bowen Science Center made the move a necessity. One of the main reasons for the building remodeling was the need for a better transport system (especially through the elevators!) to allow access to equipment and supplies by the many scientific departments in the building.



D1 Slow Dance-Clapp 9-2000 Article-1.jpg
D1 Slow Dance-Clapp 9-2000 Article-2.jpg

This fortuitous and timely opportunity allowed Wyrick to move Slow Dance aka Parameters. Perimeters. to the lobby of Clapp Recital Hall in September 2000 for the Inaugural Celebration for the Division of Performing Arts. The move changed and expanded the way its audience experienced the sculpture.

It was also a time of regeneration for the sculpture, because audiences circulated around the pieces before and after performances and during intermissions. People described feeling the power of the 8’ high pieces and many likened their experience to being inside a forest.


In 2006, the new Director of the School of Music requested that Slow Dance be moved out of the building. The artist was faced with a dilemma: either find a home for the sculptures or destroy them.


Although Wyrick was miffed about having to move the pieces, it was only about a year and a half later that the June 2008 devastating flood in Iowa City destroyed Clapp Recital Hall, the UI Music Building and Hancher Auditorium. She was then thankful that they had been moved out of harm’s way and had found a new (and permanent) home.



E1 Slow Dance-Blank Ctr Lobby _.jpg
E2 Slow Dance- Blank Ctr Lobby _.JPG

Wyrick had looked for a site that would continue Slow Dance's contribution to creative
thought by its viewers in addition to preserving the six sculptures. She was familiar with the
programming in the Belin-Blank Gifted and Talented Program in the new
Blank Honors Center headed by Dr. Nick Colangelo and she felt public schools’ and university’s honor students
might become interested in the artwork and even interact with it to allow the artwork to flourish
in new ways.

In addition The Blank Honors Center had opened in 2003 and Slow Dance had excellent
architectural compatibility with the building. The directors of the Belin-Blank Center were
intrigued by having
Slow Dance as a piece of public art in their lobby.


It was necessary that Wyrick transfer ownership to the University and the Blank Center. The agreement also required Wyrick to substitute aluminum for the glass “shards” projecting from the center of each sculpture because of the possibility of injury to young students.


Wyrick was happy to have found an excellent solution to her dilemma and signed an agreement giving the Center and University the right to de-accession the artwork, to find its next owner or even to destroy the work in the future.


Most importantly, the agreement includes Wyrick’s suggestion that the six sculptures might be reconfigured annually by honors students in the Center’s programs. She was ever mindful of emphasizing the artworks’ potential for creative thought.


In September 2006, Slow Dance was moved to the lobby of the Blank Honors Center and Wyrick’s stewardship of Parameters. Perimeters. aka Slow Dance was ended.

GoING forward...

After experiencing both 8th Continent and Parameters.Perimeters., Wyrick saw the folly of her creating larger-scale work that required touring and she decided to concentrate her energy on doing large-scale work that STAYED PUT!!


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