On Gratitude & Giving Back
April 12, 2019
During the first weeks of 2019, a small group gathered at Richard’s Williston studio to celebrate the gift of his bronze Volante to outgoing UVM president Tom Sullivan, and his wife Leslie. “Tom and Leslie understand the necessity of making art a part of everyday life and learning,” Richard said. “They know that the advancement of culture and the stimulation of our senses is what defines being human.” During a winter visit to campus, Richard identified the perfect place to install the work: at the top of the sweeping stairs in the Davis Student Center, where it appears dramatically poised to take flight. The inscription reads: To Tom and Leslie Sullivan, who made this university soar.
Volante will join other works in the university’s growing public sculpture collection, in which Richard is represented prominently. Past gifts include monumental works Arete Blu and Primavera. The collection now includes Omni Piu, which Richard gifted to commemorate the newly opened STEM complex, Discovery Hall. The entrancing, Möbius-like coil of Peruvian travertine is installed in the building’s central hallway, a familiar anchor for students studying on the nearby couches and those bustling to class alike.
In celebration of another significant new educational initiative, Richard has donated his petit granite Miranda to Burr and Burton Academy, where it will be installed in a new state-of-the-art classroom facility being built as part of the school’s Rowland Project. Miranda will compliment the smaller bronze work Alysse, which Richard donated to Burr and Burton in 2015 upon receiving the school’s Alumni Achievement Award.
As Richard puts it, he hopes that these gifts will bring wonder “to the hearts and minds of students and visitors for centuries to come.”