Public art in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium
NAU welcomes the community to art exhibits on display in our auditoriaNorthern Arizona University often features artwork in the lobby of our auditoria. Students, staff, faculty, and the Flagstaff community are invited to experience the art on display.
The Planets by Paula RiceThis monumental series of nine ceramic sculptures line the window of Ardrey’s lobby. Created by retired NAU professor and artist Paula Rice, the series ties together elements of the university and Flagstaff. Rice was inspired to create ceramic pieces being a local artist in Flagstaff, the world’s first dark sky city. Flagstaff’s history is also deeply rooted in astronomy, most notably for the discovery of Pluto. Ardrey Memorial Auditorium aims to provide an opportunity to NAU students, faculty, and staff as well as visitors from the community with an experience that encompasses a wide range of arts. In this space, The Planets is seen by all visitors and have the chance to consider what Rice considers “our human connection to the universe.” A series that represents the desire for exploration of our universe and ourselves as individuals, The Planets is permanently displayed in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium a space dedicated to the exposure of the arts.
“…addressing the planets, and the unfathomable cosmos by which we are surrounded, is really about us here on Earth. Our sense of place, and the size of our imaginations, has had to stretch to include the immense new landscape of space. Somehow, it has deepened our interior space as well. My work places us in these new surroundings.” – Paula Rice
9/11: In Memory of The Heroism of First Responders by Paula RiceThis ceramic piece is permanently housed in a space specifically designed for it in the upstairs portion of Ardrey Memorial Auditorium. Created by Paula Rice, the artist of The Planets series in the lobby, this piece is intended to commemorate the tragedy of 9/11 while honoring those who survived and lost their lives in the event. Set on a pedestal surrounded by mirrors, visitors become part of the artwork as they see themselves in reflections. Therefore, viewers are immersed into the artwork, visually, to connect with the piece through a unique perspective.
“After 9/11 I wanted to act, to give back.” – Paula Rice
Canyon Depth by Kevin RagallerCreated by local artist and former NAU student, Kevin Ragaller, Canyon Depth is a kiln-fired glasswork that brings the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon into Ardrey Memorial Auditorium. Inspired by the great depths and stunning environment that defines Northern Arizona, Ragaller forms a panel that when illuminated with light, radiates the warm colors of the canyon and cool colors of the water and sky. Glass as a medium also served as an inspiration due to the ability to shape and transform its fluidity into a solid panel. These two characteristics that are in opposition to one another echoes back to what’s being depicted- the water channeling through the rigidity of the canyon walls. Visitors can experience this incredible piece when they are greeted at the top of the staircase leading to the balcony.
“I tried to make the canyon appear to be made of glass.” -Kevin Ragaller