On Friday, Sept. 15, UW–Madison commemorated the life and work of alumnus and Professor Emeritus Truman Lowe by officially dedicating a sculpture created by and honoring the life of the Ho-Chunk Nation artist.
The aluminum sculpture, “Effigy: Bird Form,” was created by Lowe in 1997. It was then showcased in a year-long exhibition of 20th-century works at the White House Sculpture Garden in Washington.
“Being from the woodlands, I wanted my inspiration for this sculpture to come from a culture that inhabited this area and left its mark with earthen mounds — a unique way of showing respect and living with the Earth,” Lowe said of the work. “This is my attempt to pay my respects, to celebrate the longevity of our history and our traditions. We have endured and I know we will survive.”
Truman Lowe (1944-2019) was an internationally acclaimed sculptor. His works bridged the traditional and contemporary, abstract and representational worlds of Native American fine art and were deeply rooted in his Ho-Chunk heritage.
Lowe received his master of fine arts degree from the School of Education’s Art Department in 1973. While on campus, he studied sculpture, glassblowing, ceramics, and more while developing his own artistic voice. He joined the faculty in the Art Department in 1975, was promoted to full professor in 1989, and served as chair of the department from 1984-1995. From 1975 to 1988, Lowe was also the coordinator for the fledgling Native American Studies Program.
Additionally, Lowe served as chair of the Chancellor’s Scholarship Committee, where from 1984 to 2004 he recruited and supported underrepresented students interested in pursuing their education on the UW–Madison campus.
Lowe’s sculpture now stands at the north of Van Hise Hall on the southwest corner of North Charter St. and University Dr. at UW–Madison.