SOS! makes ’99 assessment award to USD for sculpture

SOS! makes '99 assessment award to USD for sculpture Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!), a national project to preserve the nation's public sculptures, has awarded The University of South Dakota a 1999 SOS! Assessment Award.

The $850 award will be used to hire conservation professional Mayda Jensen of Jensen Conservation Service, Inc. Jensen is experienced with outdoor sculpture and will conduct on-site condition assessment, recommend treatment and maintenance and provide estimates of treatment costs. The untitled steel sculpture in the front of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts will be assessed by Jensen.

"America's outdoor sculpture and monuments were created to honor the spirit, individuals, events and beliefs that have helped shape our nation and enrich our lives," said SOS! Founding Director Susan Nicholas. "Today, this collection � an important part of our heritage � is endangered from deferred maintenance, weathering and vandalism.

"By having its sculpture professionally assessed, USD has taken a leadership role in local preservation," Nicholas continued. "Assessment is the first step in preservation efforts, which can have a positive impact on the community. The next step is to implement the assessment's recommendations as a gift to the next generation."

With additional funding Target Stores and the National Endowment for the Arts, SOS! has millennium conservation awards to assist local communities preserve artistically and historically significant public outdoor sculpture, including those works of art that honor great thinkers � inventors, educators, poets, public leaders and others who made a positive difference in our nation's history, locally or nationally.

Since 1990, nearly 7,000 SOS! volunteers have reported on the history, location and condition of approximately 32,000 publically accessible outdoor sculptures. The volunteers' findings reveal that 50 percent of America's collection of outdoor sculpture is inadequately cared for and in need of some preservation � either treatment or maintenance. SOS! is jointly sponsored by Heritage Preservation and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art.

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