Evangel University will unveil a bronze sculpture during a ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 2 p.m. in the Barnett Fine Arts Atrium. The 5-foot sculpture will be permanently displayed in the atrium, near the entrance to the art gallery.
The ceremony is open to the public.
The art has been donated by Dr. Glenn Bernet, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and his wife, Lois, who retired in 1996 after serving as the office manager for the music department.
“The sculpture depicts a young boy playing the trumpet while perched in a tree,” Dr. Bernet said. “Our thought was to have this piece assigned to the music department as a means of further enhancing the image of the department. Of course, my own interest in music, and especially the trumpet, motivated this donation.”
The artist, Bill Mack, is the world’s pre-eminent relief sculptor and a master craftsman. He is based out of Minneapolis, where his home and studio are located.
Mack has been commissioned to create several life-size or larger cast bronze sculptures for many major sports halls of fame in America, including the NBA Hall of Fame, featuring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Baseball Hall of Fame, featuring Harmon Killebrew and Figure Skating Hall of Fame, featuring Peggy Fleming.
The base of the sculpture was hand-crafted by Evangel alumnus Kevin Kolstad and is made of solid walnut. It stands 14" tall and is constructed to fit the bronze sculpture.
“We are honored to have this amazing piece of art donated to the music department,” said department chair Michael Kolstad. “We hope the sculpture is enjoyed by our Evangel family and the many community members who attend our concerts and other cultural events throughout the year.”
Combining low and high relief, incised lines and elements in the full-round in sculpture works that are light enough to be hung on a wall, Mack directly involves the viewer in a 3-dimensional experience, both textural and tactile, that is often startling real.
For more than twenty years, Mack worked mostly as a commissioned artist — from miniature medallic works such as the bicentennial medals for the state of Minnesota and the cities of St. Louis and Baltimore, to reliefs and full-round sculptures for corporations such as General Motors, Pillsbury and 3M.
In the early 1980s, Mack made a venturous artistic move and entered the competitive gallery world with his alto relief sculptures. He has had exhibitions in galleries from New York City to Beverly Hills, and from Tokyo to Frankfurt.
Bill Mack’s creations are strikingly unique, and he is widely considered an influencer in today’s world of contemporary art.
Dr. Glenn Bernet and his wife, Lois Bernet, have served Evangel University for 50 years, with Dr. Bernet currently serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs. He began his service to Evangel in 1963, teaching mathematics in the science and technology department. He attained full professor status in 1981 and assumed the role of vice president for academic affairs in 1985.
During his time at Evangel, Bernet has seen the enrollment increase nearly four-fold. During his leadership, the college has earned university status and added both master’s and adult degree-completion programs.
In addition to professional endeavors, both Glenn and Lois remain active in church and community activities. He has served as president of the Southeast Lions Club, vice chairman of the deacon board at Central Assembly of God, delegate to the Community Planning Council of Greene County and a member of the Springfield Rotary.
Lois and Glenn were childhood sweethearts. They have three grown children, all of whom attended Evangel: Rob Bernet (’86), Julie Leoni and Susan Tolbert (’93). Susan’s husband Todd (’94) also is an Evangel graduate.