When the Alumni and Friends Center opens this fall, it will be a welcoming new community landmark at the eastern gateway of campus. Boise State artists set out this year to create a work befitting of the new space — a 3-foot bronze replica of the university seal.
Designed in 1968, the seal features Boise’s natural environment and includes the university name and the Latin phrase “Splendor Sine Occasu,” which translates as “Splendor Without End.”
Art students and faculty, members of the facilities team at Boise State and sculptor Benjamin Victor, the university’s artist in residence and a professor of the practice, have all worked collaboratively on the project. The carpentry shop created a wood form, Victor and a student built a model of the seal from clay, and then a sculpture team took over to cast it in bronze.
“We have the capability to do this from beginning to end on campus, which is unique,” Victor said. “One of the reasons that I came to Boise State was the talent level of our professors and students. There’s so much value in getting all of our talents together. It’s really the perfect marriage of art, science, foundry science and everything in between.”
Professor of sculpture Francis Fox said the project has helped a number of his students gain professional experience outside of the classroom.
“The whole process is collaborative,” Fox said. “We have seven or eight people working on the medal pour. It’s like a dance, actually. I think it’s an ideal project.”
Victor noted that it is particularly gratifying for students and faculty alike to know that the seal sculpture will be cherished and valued for years to come.