John Van Alstine Via Solaris

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While attending Indiana State University, one of the first sculptures I took an interest in was the Via Solaris. “Via Solaris” is Latin for “the way or road of the sun.” The sculpture is about 20-feet tall and made of bronze and steel. Via Solaris was created by John Van Alstine, an American sculptor living and working in New York State. John Van Alstine is best known for stone and metal abstract sculptures illustrating remarkable balance and elegance. The sculpture is located on the north side of Stalker Hall on the campus of Indiana State University. I have always had a fascination with large sculptures made of metal, and when I discovered the Via Solaris, I was immediately captivated visually with the size, height, and unique shapes the artist used. At first glance, the Via looked like a giant sundial, but the sculpture was missing the traditional round "clock face" at…show more content…
Early society 's lives revolved around nature: people consumed nature; early man created with nature; families protected themselves from nature; religions emerged to worship nature. Humanity has always had a need and craving to know the time of the changing seasons, for planting, harvesting, and hunting. Knowledge of when to plant the crops and when to harvest was crucially important for early human 's basic survival. The Via Solaris is a representation of an earlier era, tapping into the primeval need that humans have to be in touch with the natural rhythm of the world. The sculpture also inadvertently illustrates the false need modern man has for complicated electronic seasonal tracking devices that require an orbital satellite signal and a local power source to operate. I find it soothing to sit and look this enormous perpetual seasonal timepiece, especially in contrast to the fast-paced college environment which surrounds it, and think back to the time when this sculpture was the most advanced technology on the
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