Barney Bright Sculpture
In 1964, Louisville sculptor Jeptha Barnard “Barney” Bright was commissioned to create a sculpture for the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture. Presumably, Bright, whose studio was located at 2031 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, was commissioned by architects McCulloch & Bickel (also of Louisville), who designed the Agricultural Sciences Building (AG North). It was one of Barney Bright’s first commissioned sculptures. The untitled piece features three intertwining abstract “tulip” blossoms emerging from a block of limestone. It is constructed of bronze rods welded over copper supports. The artist labeled the style of the sculpture “organic abstraction.” In 1965, the sculpture was installed on the north side of UK’s recently completed Agricultural Sciences Building at the corner of Limestone Street and Cooper Drive.
Although it sustained damage through the years as the result of vandalism, the sculpture remained in the small plaza on the north side of UK’s Agricultural Science North Building until 2009. That year, as the result of the construction of the new University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, the plaza was reconfigured. On December 31, 2009, the sculpture was removed for repair. Professor Garry Bibbs, UK associate professor of art and head of the university’s sculpture program, was selected to repair and restore the sculpture. Professor Bibbs worked on the sculpture at his studio near the Reynolds Building on the UK campus. After months of work, repair, and restoration, the sculpture was installed on the newly reconstructed west plaza of Agricultural Science Center North (facing Limestone Street) on Wednesday, April 5, 2010. UK’s Physical Plant Division and contractor E. C. Matthews Co. Inc. moved the sculpture from the Reynolds Building to Agricultural Science Center North via Limestone Street using a forklift.