posted October 4, 2004

Sculpture to Be Dedicated on Oct. 9

Hope College will celebrate and dedicate the installation of a sculpture by contemporary artist Bill Barrett on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m.

The abstract fabricated bronze sculpture, "Wall Relief: Opus A," is being installed on the north wall of the organ studio of Nykerk Hall of Music.

The public is invited to the dedication. Admission is free.

The 1999 sculpture has been donated to the college anonymously. It has been given "in honor of the faculty, students, and alumni dedicated to preserving and nurturing the importance of beauty, creativity, and the arts within and beyond the Hope College community."

Special recognition is being given to three couples for their decades of service to Hope: Lamont and Ruth Dirkse, Philip and Ann Fredrickson, and Vern and Isla Schipper. All six were contemporaries at Hope as students in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and later were either members of the Hope faculty or staff or active as the spouses of faculty or staff members.>p>The event has been scheduled in conjunction with the college's Homecoming Weekend, which runs Friday-Sunday, Oct. 8-10.

Lamont Dirkse, a 1950 Hope graduate, joined the Hope education faculty in 1964. He was chairperson of the department from 1968 to 1975 and 1986 to 1991, and was dean of students from 1983 to 1986. He retired in 1992. He is also a past president of the college's Alumni Association.

Ruth Dirkse was the tutor coordinator with the college's Academic Support Center from 1986 until retiring in 1992. A 1950 Hope graduate, she was also involved with the college's faculty wives organization. Her father was Clarence De Graaf, who retired from the Hope English faculty in 1972 after 44 years at the college, including 25 as chairperson of the department.

The Dirkses were head residents in Voorhees Hall for two years, and also spent Lamont Dirkse's years as dean living on campus. They have three children, all of whom attended Hope: David, Susan and Nancy.

Phil Fredrickson graduated from the college in 1950. He returned to Hope in 1978 as dean for admissions. In 1980 he became coordinator of freshman studies, involving areas such as academic counseling and campus life. He retired in 1987.

Ann Fredrickson, a 1950 Hope graduate, is a past member of the college's Alumni Association Board of Directors. She was a head resident at the college from 1979 to 1986, and worked part-time at the Hope-Geneva Bookstore from 1983 to 1993. Her father, Edward Wolters, taught first at the college's preparatory school and then at the college from 1926 until retiring in 1966 as a professor of Latin and chairperson of classical languages. The Fredricksons have two children, Tom and Sara.

Vern Schipper, a 1951 Hope graduate, was a member of the Hope staff for more than 16 years. He joined the college as director of the "Build Hope Fund" in August of 1973. He was subsequently appointed associate director of college relations for alumni affairs, and served as alumni director until 1986, when he moved to the college's advancement staff as a regional representative. He retired in August of 1989.

Isla Schipper graduated from the college in 1950. Actively involved in organizations including the Garden Club, the West Michigan Flower Arrangers Guild and Creative Floral Arrangers of the Americans, she spent more than two decades handling floral arrangements for weddings. She and Vern have three children, all of whom attended Hope: James, Brian and Steven.

Barrett, 69, has had one-person exhibitions in galleries across the country. His work is in the collections of several corporations, including Neiman-Marcus, Rockefeller Realty Corporation, Hitachi Corporation and the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. Among the many museum collections including his work are the Utsukushi-ga-Hara Open Air Museum in Tokyo, Japan, the International Foundation Art Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art. His work is in the collection of universities such as the Mitchell Wolfson New World Campus in Miami, Fla., the University of Michigan Dentistry School, the University of Hartford in Connecticut, and the Eastern Michigan University Library.

He has won multiple awards in his more than four decades as an artist, including the Detroit Institute of Arts Lewis Prize for Outstanding Work by a Michigan Teacher in 1962; the Hakone Open Air Museum Award, Fifth Henry Moore Grand Prize Exhibition, Utsukushi-ga-hara Open Air Museum, Tokyo; and the 1990 Audubon Artists Gold Medal of Honor for Sculpture, New York. He and his work are featured in the 2003 book "Bill Barrett: Evolution of a Sculptor" by Philip F. Palmedo.

Barrett completed bachelor's and master's degrees in design and a master of fine arts degree at the University of Michigan. He is based in New Mexico and New York.