RIT graduate student creates sculpture for newly-renovated Geva lobby

Sep 13, 2016

Thumbnail for  RIT graduate student creates sculpture for newly-renovated Geva lobby
Thumbnail for  RIT graduate student creates sculpture for newly-renovated Geva lobby

by Dawn Kellogg
Photos by A. Sue Weisler

Geva Theatre Center has commissioned a sculpture from RIT graduate student Julia Manson to adorn the newly-renovated lobby. The commission has been made possible with a gift from Michael and Joanna Grosodonia.

In the spring of 2016, RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences held a competition, based on a donation from Michael and Joanna Grosodonia, to commission a sculpture for Geva’s newly renovated lobby. Eight graduate student artists submitted detailed proposals ranging in media from wood to glass to ceramic to electrical. A selection committee comprised of the Grosodonias; the architect for the renovation project, Dirk Schneider; Geva’s Artistic Director, Mark Cuddy; Geva’s Executive Director Christopher Mannelli and Geva’s Lighting Supervisor Derek Madonia along with RIT faculty reviewed the proposals. Four finalists were selected to present further detail on their designs. Graduate student Julia Manson was chosen to be the artist for the piece.

Ms. Manson is currently working on her M.F.A. in Metals and Jewelry design at RIT. A native of Bradenton, Florida, she received her B.F.A. at Savannah College of Art and Design.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to leave my mark in Rochester and in building so historic and filled with so much creative energy,” commented Ms. Manson. I am so proud that one of my pieces will have a home here.”

Manson’s inspiration for the piece was the unique moment that performers get to experience - the moment when they first walk onto the stage and into the spotlight. “Visitors to the lobby will be able to experience that moment through my sculpture,” said Ms. Manson.

Comprised of four inverted cone-like structures, the sculpture is a departure for Ms. Manson who, as a jewelry designer, usually works on pieces in a much smaller scale. Ms. Manson has crafted this piece out of several media. The base and structure are aluminum which has been blasted with microglass beads to give it iridescence. The bases are encased in over 1800 feet of stainless steel twisted wire.

“This stunning sculptural work will add to the dynamic and luster of our radically transformed public space at Geva,” commented Mark Cuddy. “It has ambition and hope, and celebrates the magic of theatre with its theme of being in the spotlight. Now audiences will get to see Julia’s inspired design up close, and make it one of Rochester’s most desired locations for photos!”