What is the Brain Rock?
Ridge and Furrow, a sculpture by British artist Peter Randall-Page and more well-known as the "Brain Rock," sits on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway. Since the sculpture was installed in 2011, a new tradition for Honors at Iowa has formed. Honors students rub the Brain Rock for good luck before taking their tests.
Ridge and Furrow was installed on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway on the University of Iowa campus Tuesday, June 28, 2011. The installation is part of the Art in State Buildings program.
Randall-Page carved the 19-ton coarse granite boulder over a five-month period. Reflecting a natural design, the boulder has a continuous and endless ridge flanked by V-shaped grooves or furrows.
The UI Art on Campus Committee chose the sculpture because its use of natural materials would fit into the landscaping design of the walkway area, according to committee chair Sean O’Harrow, director of the UI Museum of Art. Pam White, the University’s Art in State Buildings program coordinator, had seen Randall-Page’s work in England first in 2004 and recommended him to the Art on Campus Committee in 2009.
The Art in State Buildings Program was enacted to provide for the inclusion of fine arts in state building construction projects in cooperation with the Iowa Arts Council. The requirement states that one-half of 1 percent of a project’s total cost shall be expended for the acquisition, preparation, and installation of fine arts elements in and around state buildings in areas regularly accessible to the general public.
Randall-Page has gained an international reputation over the past 25 years through his sculpture drawings and prints. His public sculptures can be found in many urban and rural locations throughout the United Kingdom. His work is held in public and private collections throughout the world.
UI Facilities Management coordinated the sculpture installation with help from Coonrod Wrecker and Crane Service.
Article from fyi (University Communications & Marketing, 06/28/2011)
Pictured Above: Honors student Nate Hua posing in front of the iconic Brain Rock prior to the Honors Recognition Ceremony in April, 2015.