Lenoir-Rhyne Receives Six Athletic Sculptures
June 24, 2009
Contact: Margaret Allen, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
Hickory, N.C. - Six life-size bronze sculptures depicting athletes in action will soon grace the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University. The sculptures are a gift of Irwin Belk, a Charlotte philanthropist interested in college athletics and art.
Lenoir-Rhyne's Irwin Belk Track bears his name, as do more than 30 other collegiate track and field facilities. Belk is a member of the Charlotte family who established the Belk department stores.
"Our association with Irwin Belk has been both delightful and inspiring," said Neill McGeachy, Lenoir-Rhyne Director of Athletics. "It pleases us to receive his generous gift of these distinctive artworks."
Four of the new L-R sculptures have been delivered and erected. The final two are expected in late summer or early fall. The first four statues are part of the first phase of the new Moretz Sports - Athletic Complex. A female javelin thrower and a male soccer player are located in front of the main entrance to the athletic complex, at the corner of Eighth Street NE and Sixth Avenue NE in Hickory, N.C.. A sculpture of a female softball pitcher stands next to the softball field, and a statue of a male baseball batter is located near the baseball field. The final two statues will be placed in front of the Shuford Memorial Gymnasium on Stasavich Place. They will show a female volleyball player and a male basketball player.
Prior to installing the first sculptures, Lenoir-Rhyne and the city of Hickory completed a beautification project at the intersection in front of the Moretz Sports - Athletic Complex main entrance. Several traffic lights were relocated, new street signs were installed and new, smaller walk/don't walk signals were installed.
The athletic statues were designed by Richard Hallier of Boone, N.C. Hallier is known for his life-size bronze sculptures of the human figure. In addition to sculpting a number of athletic figures, he has created such varied pieces as a figure representing "Dance" for the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo., and a twice-life-size sculpture of "Blackbeard" for the Pirates of the Caribbean Museum and Gardens in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Hallier was born in Kansas City, Kan., in 1944. He was an illustrator for the U.S. Marine Corps and attended Kansas City Junior College and Ringling School of Art & Design. His sculptures are included in many corporate collections and museums.