UTC students may find themselves reflected in one of campus’s new works of art. “Three Shades of Green” is an eighteen foot tall sculpture placed across from Race Hooper Hall. It was decided to position the piece so that it overlooks green space and the new library. Jim Collins, former art professor at UTC, has created this sculpture with three powder-coated aluminum figures sitting 15 feet high, perched atop recycled fiberglass turbine blades.
Collins says of the sculpture on his blog, “My sculpture concept for this project is based on our contemporary environmental concerns. The sculpture presents three figures setting on recycled turbine blades in various shades of green. Each figure represents the students of UTC and reminds them that they will and do hold the answers to today’s problems and the future belongs to them.”
Collins is also responsible for the familiar Mile Markers along the seven and a half mile stretch of the River Walk. These powder coated stainless steel figurative sculptures were installed in 2007. Additionally, Collins did a major sculpture commission for County Limerick in Ireland. Thirty-two separate larger than life-sized colorful silhouettes of cows, deer, and horses made up these sculptural installations, split into four groupings along major highways.
“People love seeing things in the art world that are easy to identify,” Collins explained. “However, most people treasure art that is challenging in its interpretation.”
Collins is primarily a Public Art sculptor working in a figurative manner, best recognized in his long running series the WATCHER. His sculpture style has been characterized by the use of silhouettes of people and animals constructed of stainless steel, aluminum and other metals.
He received the A.B. degree from Marshall University in West Virginia, the M.P.H. degree from the University of Michigan, and the M.F.A. degree in sculpture from Ohio University. Collins was a professor of Art at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 1966 to1983, when he resigned to devote himself full time to his career as a professional artist.