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Seven Cubes finding a new place at MCC

Seven Cubes

MARSHALLTOWN – The iconic steel sculpture, known as the “Seven Cubes,” that have been visible on the west lawn of the Marshalltown Community College campus since 1988 will find a new home. Still at MCC, due to construction, the Cubes will take a more prominent spot moving north and closer to the front entrance.

The “Seven Cubes” were installed in their location on the west lawn September of 1988. Luther Utterback (deceased), the artist, came to MCC and oversaw the installation. Previously, they were installed on the grounds of Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. After a donation offer from a group of Marshalltown art lovers, under the guidance of the late Mr. Bob Sunday, the Cubes were brought from Waverly to MCC.

Utterback spent a great deal of time in Iowa and was mostly based in Iowa City and later in New York City. He felt very strongly that the grounds of the MCC campus would be a fitting permanent home for his large-scale sculpture. He believed the wide-open space of the campus would highlight the Cubes at their best throughout all the seasons. He remarked how they would look particularly dramatic after a driving snowstorm with the sides of the Cubes contrasting vividly against the stark snow.

In the Cubes new location, they will be highly visible and will allow for more interaction. “I think Utterback would have liked that,” commented MCC Art Faculty Tim Castle. “I believe he would have seen the relocation as part of the ongoing life of the work and would have been excited by that. It is my understanding that he appreciated the organic, the cycles and changes in nature and art and thus the relocation would have fit into his outlook on life and artistic philosophy.”

The Cubes have a life of their own both individually and as a group. The artist was fascinated by cubes but even though they are strict geometric shapes, he arranged them so that their appearance was playful, even whimsical. “There is a beauty to them that has to be experienced in person. The surfaces are subtle but rich – they are not just one color, look carefully and you will see many colors and these colors change as the light changes,” Castle described. “The Cubes reflect more than thirty years of cyclical changes and human involvement and I’m excited to see how that is added to as we move forward in the years to come.”

Castle will oversee the move of the Cubes on Tuesday, July 26th at 8 am.

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