The sculpture was commissioned as part of the state’s 1% for Public Art Program, a program administered by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, which allocates a portion of all state construction funding to provide artwork for the new and renovated buildings. The legislative intent of the Percent for Art program, according to public law 42-75.2-2, is to create a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all citizens.
“The inclusion of Diepenbrock’s bronze sculpture will enhance the public experience of the building,” explains Elizabeth Keithline, director of the Rhode Island’s 1% for Public Art Program in a joint announcement with URI. “The sculpture will serve as a gathering point for students on campus and be an aesthetic investment for the state of Rhode Island.”
Diepenbrock’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Bridgewater State College, the Newport Art Museum, the Hunter Gallery, St. George’s School, and the Lenore Gray Gallery. Other commissions he has received are the 9/11 Monument at the R.I. Statehouse, Undulating Flurries for One Exeter Plaza in Boston; Infinity III for the town of East Greenwich, and numerous commissions for private and business locations in Mass., R.I. and Calif.
He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where he earned two degrees, a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Industrial Design. He has achieved a distinguished record of accomplishment as one of the region’s most prolific and up-and-coming contemporary sculptors. With his wife, jewelry designer Didi Suydam, he owns Didi Suydam Contemporary on Bannister’s Wharf in Newport.
Lippitt Hall, one of the University’s oldest buildings, was reopened last year after an $8.9 million, basement-to-roof renovation, which modernized the building with wireless technology and updated classroom spaces, while restoring the building’s exterior in keeping with its Tudor-style architecture. The renovations were completed by A.F. Lusi Construction Co, of Smithfield, RI. Architect William Kite of Providence designed the renovations to Lippitt, now home to URI’s Honors Program and Department of Mathematics.
URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno Photography.