Yavapai College will be formally naming its contemporary sculpture garden after a significant member of the YC community and respected leader of the sculpture garden effort, Richard Marcusen.
The ceremony will take place today, Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. inside the college's Performing Arts Center lobby and will feature food, wine and music. It is open to the public.
Last month, the Yavapai College District Governing Board voted unanimously to name the garden after Marcusen at the recommendation of the Yavapai College Foundation.
"Dick has really been the heart and soul of the sculpture garden since its conception," said Jo Berger, friend of Marcusen and who initially proposed the renaming. "He's the one who had the dream and vision and was able to make it a reality."
Marcusen began teaching at YC in 1971 and was instrumental in establishing the art programs, gallery and sculpture garden through Friends of YC Art, according to a press release. Upon his retirement, he was awarded Emeritus Art Faculty status. During his 30 years of work with Friends of YC Art, Marcusen led efforts to raise more than $1.1 million and facilitated over 40,000 volunteer hours in the sculpture garden.
Located on YC's Prescott Campus to the west and north of the Performing Arts Center, the garden spans about five acres. It now consists of more than a dozen sculptures and has benches, a fountain, an amphitheater and a number of named trees, bushes and bricks.
Despite his tremendous involvement with the project, Marcusen said he didn't expect them to name it after him.
"It was a big surprise," Marcusen said. "It's the work of many for a long period of time and I'm flattered that they named it after me."
Although it took quite a bit longer to put together than he had first anticipated, he believes the garden matured nicely and provides a unique environment for both Yavapai College students and the general public to enjoy.
"It's a place for people to see some contemporary sculpture as opposed to the classic western art you typically find scattered throughout Arizona," Marcusen said.
Berger said there's still room in the garden for installing sculptures, so the hope is for continued donations and endowment of sculptures going forward. The current effort is to raise enough funds for a sculpture that will serve as a monument to Marcusen's achievements with the garden.
To make a donation, you can contact the Yavapai College Foundation Donor Relations Manager Abby Biro at 928-776-2359 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 1105, or 928-642-7864.