For nearly 40 years, fine arts professor and sculptor Everett “Ebb” Haycock helped Ohio Wesleyan University to forge forward in creating a renowned foundry and cast metal program.
Now, his daughter, Lorry Haycock Luikart, and her husband, Jack Luikart – both Ohio Wesleyan graduates – are honoring the memory of her parents with a $300,000 gift to create The Ebb and Teena Haycock Public Art Endowment. The endowment will support the permanent and long-term placement of public artworks across the university’s 200-acre campus.
Lorry Luikart, OWU Class of 1973, said, like her parents, she believes art enhances everyone’s quality of life and should be a part of the daily experience of all Ohio Wesleyan students, employees and visitors. Funding for the endowment comes from her parents’ estate and “all those years of frugal living, orchestrated by my mother’s amazing money-management skills.”
“I believe both my mother and father would be thrilled to see art pop up on campus, bringing joy to so many, as a direct result of their hard work,” Luikart said. She encourages others to contribute to the endowment to help support new art in perpetuity.
“As more public art emerges on campus, the environment will be enriched, igniting imagination and encouraging thought and discourse,” Luikart said, adding the initiative “dovetails perfectly” with recent public murals installed in the city of Delaware.
The mural project was spearheaded by Erin Fletcher, director of Ohio Wesleyan’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum. Fletcher will help to administer the new Haycock Public Art Endowment in collaboration with the chair of the Department of Fine Arts. She also will co-chair the committee that reviews and selects new pieces of public art for the campus.
“This gift really demonstrates that the arts are a strength of Ohio Wesleyan – both historically and today,” Fletcher said. “I’m grateful for Lorry’s vision, and I know the public art made possible by the Haycock Endowment will be a wonderful addition to the campus experience. I look forward to seeing generative overlaps between the university and the city on public art in the future.”
The first piece of campus art supported by the new endowment already is in place – and is especially fitting given Ebb Haycock’s love of both metal sculpture and public art.
The new artwork, “Gears and Wrenches Bike Rack,” was created and installed outside the Ross Art Museum, 61 S. Sandusky St., by OWU fine arts faculty member Jonathan Quick.
The 300-pound stainless steel sculpture measures 52.5 inches high, 34 inches wide, and 20 inches deep, Quick said. It was created right here on campus in the Haycock Building, he said, also named in honor of former professor Ebb Haycock.
“The sculpture is all about community engagement,” said Quick, who teaches sculpture and 3-D design. “I’d like to see people lock up their bikes to it. I think most folks enjoy the sense of humor and novelty they get from it. Most true bike enthusiasts relate to the tools necessary to keep bicycles in good repair.”
Luikart said she looks forward to seeing new works of art on campus as the effort takes off. “Hopefully we will see pieces created from recycled or upcycled materials bringing attention to questions of consumerism and environmental protection,” she said.
“During dad’s career, the projects he would get most excited about were commissions to create public art – the bigger, the better,” Luikart said. “After his stints in Italy working in a bronze foundry in Milan, his dreams were of making monumental abstract bronze sculpture. In 1988, he had the opportunity to make “The Oracle,” located on campus on the walk between Beeghly Library and Chappelear Drama Center.”
Additional pieces of Haycock’s work still on display on campus include bronze busts of former OWU President Herbert Welch and 1904 alumnus Branch Rickey, who collaborated with Jackie Robinson in the 1950s to help break Major League Baseball’s color barrier.
Haycock joined the OWU faculty in 1949, became a full professor in 1968, and retired in 1985. He died in June 2018. His wife of 73 years, Ernestine “Teena” Haycock also worked at the university for five year in the late ’60s and early ’70s, serving as the secretary for the former Department of Speech and Theatre. She preceded her husband in death in May 2017.
Luikart studied fine arts at Ohio Wesleyan and is a former member of the Ross Art Museum National Advisory Board. Her husband, Jack, studied economics and is a current member of the Ohio Wesleyan Board of Trustees. Their gift supports the university’s ongoing capital campaign, “Connect Today, Create Tomorrow,” which has raised more than $200 million since it was launched in 2014.
Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Ross Art Museum at www.owu.edu/ross, more about the Department of Fine Arts at www.owu.edu/finearts, and more about giving to the university at www.owu.edu/give.
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