The Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego seeks to enrich the cultural, intellectual, and scholarly life of the UCSD campus and of the San Diego community by building and maintaining a unique collection of site-specific works by leading artists of our time. It has been inventive in both its curatorial point of view and its working processes. The collection results from an innovative partnership between the university and the Stuart Collection. Under an agreement forged in 1982 (and renewed in 2003), the entire campus may be considered as sites for commissioned sculpture. It is further distinguished from a traditional sculpture garden by integration of some of the projects with university buildings. With the enthusiastic cooperation of the UCSD Department of Visual Arts, and financial support from the Stuart Foundation, the Friends of the Stuart Collection, the National Endowment for the Arts, and many other organizations, foundations and individuals, the collection has initiated and completed an impressive range of projects. The selection of artists for commissions is based on the advice of the Stuart Collection Advisory Board, which is composed of art professionals of international stature. Artists are invited to conceive and develop proposals with the assistance of the Stuart Collection staff.
Projects chosen for realization by the Advisory Board are then submitted to a campus review process. The chancellor has final approval for all commissions. Throughout the proposal, design and construction processes, artists select and tailor their work to a specific UCSD site. Great care is taken to incorporate the university's long- and short-range plans while maintaining the integrity of the art and providing provocative, thoughtful, and carefully considered additions to the fabric of campus life. Many of the artists who have designed works for the collection are associated with movements or attitudes which are seldom represented in public sculpture collections. A significant number of the artists have been better known for their work in other areas before creating their first permanent outdoor sculpture for the Stuart Collection.
The 1,200-acre UCSD campus is located in La Jolla in northern San Diego on a dramatic mesa above the Pacific Ocean. It contains natural chaparral-filled canyons, eucalyptus groves, urban plazas, and green lawns. The campus architecture ranges from California cottages, World War II barracks, and structures from the fifties and sixties to more recent buildings influenced by postmodern architecture. Since its establishment in 1960, UCSD has emerged as one of the leading institutions of higher education in the United States. Including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the School of Medicine, the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering, the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, the Rady School of Management, and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSD now has an enrollment of more than 28,000 graduate and undergraduate students and is known worldwide for its research strengths in a variety of disciplines.
"As UCSD increases in size and stature, so the Stuart Collection continues to add provocative new works to the landscape, reflecting the quality, ideals, and spirit of the university."
Richard C. Atkinson, UC President 1995-2003 & UCSD Chancellor 1980-1995