Mike and Phyllis Ryan with Discovery
If one picture is worth 1,000 words, what value does 12,000 pounds of granite hold?
On the IUPUC campus, they hold a world of Discovery. That’s the name of the new granite sculpture situated between the University’s main campus building and the Columbus Learning Center. With almost gravitational pull, the spinning one-ton globe, which floats on a film of water atop a stack of three massive books, invites passersby to touch, explore, and discover.
The captivating work of public art was made possible through the generosity of Columbus residents Mike and Phyllis Ryan. Supporters of the arts and education in Columbus for more than 40 years, the Ryans wanted to give the campus a permanent and relevant gift—a signature piece for the campus sculpture garden that Mike’s vision helped create.
“Travel is one of Mike and Phyllis’s passions—as is education. Those interests converged in Discovery,” says John Greenwell, director of marketing and recruitment at IUPUC.
“We wanted something that would attract people and be functional year-round,” says Mike. “The fountain’s pump is located inside a nearby building, which eliminates the risk of it freezing up in the winter.”
“Discovery looks beautiful in snow,” Greenwell says. “Visitors circle it and try to figure out how it’s spinning. We encourage people to touch it because it’s built for that interaction.”