Kristi Henderson
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Creator of 'frozen' fountain sculpture wins award for another campus artwork

Wed, 08/24/2011

KU graduate Matthew Dominic Farley's "SnoWaffle" sculpture on west campus has been named as one of the 47 best public art projects of 2011 by the Americans for the Arts' Public Art Network

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LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas graduate has received national recognition for his public artworks on the KU campus for a second consecutive year.

Matthew Dominic Farley’s “SnoWaffle” sculpture on west campus has been named as one of the 47 best public art projects of 2011 by the Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network. Farley received the same distinction in 2010 for his water bottle sculpture, “Frozen Assets,” at KU’s Chi Omega Fountain.

“SnoWaffle” addresses community reception of public art. It plays on the nickname of a west campus sculpture called “Salina Piece,” which is often referred to as the “giant waffle iron.”

Farley built a large waffle made of snow in winter 2009-10 that appeared to be created by the preexisting 30-ton steel sculpture by Dale Eldred. Inspired by the community backlash when “Salina Piece” was installed, Farley proposes a resourceful transformation of controversy into appreciation.

The Public Art Network’s Year in Review program is the only national program that specifically recognizes public art projects. Out of more than 400 applicants, guest curators selected Farley’s “SnoWaffle” this year and “Frozen Assets” in 2010 as some of the nation’s most compelling public pieces to debut.

Farley was honored by his consecutive selection as one of the best public art projects of 2011.

“I hope that this in turn inspires appreciation and conversation about the public art we have on our campuses and in our cities,” Farley said.

Farley studied sculpture at KU. He received a bachelor of fine arts from the KU School of the Arts in December 2008. He has pursued a career as an artist since graduation. Currently, he is assisting with the restoration of S.P. Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden in Lucas.

The School of the Arts is home to four departments: Dance, Film and Media Studies, Theatre and Visual Art. The sculpture program is housed in the Department of Visual Art. As part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.

Visit Matthew Farley’s website at

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