Community Bids Fond Farewell to George Rickey’s “Space Churn”
Artwork returns to George Rickey Foundation after generous seven-year loan
On Tuesday, November 16, Space Churn with Octagon—a sculpture by world-renowned artist George Rickey—will be de-installed from its current location in the Studebaker Plaza in downtown South Bend, at the corner of Michigan Street and Jefferson Boulevard, and returned to the George Rickey Foundation Collection. The deinstallation is scheduled to begin at approximately 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
Space Churn with Octagon was originally installed in the Studebaker Plaza on April 11, 2014. The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, with the support of the Marjorie H. and James M. Wilson Family, partnered with the George Rickey Foundation to arrange for the sculpture be loaned to our community for a two-year term. Through the generosity of the George Rickey Estate, the sculpture’s term of loan was extended multiple times, allowing it to remain in South Bend for more than seven years.
A native of South Bend, George Rickey was the son of a mechanical engineer who worked for Singer Sewing Machine. His unique kinetic sculptures—work that combines art and engineering into what one critic describes as “a playground for the eyes”—are known throughout the world for their graceful, natural movement and sleek stainless steel beauty.
Rickey created Space Churn with Octagon in 1971. The sculpture is 19’ 5” high, 9’ wide, and 40” deep, and is composed of stainless steel.
Other work by George Rickey is a permanent part of our community. The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame has over 100 artworks within its George Rickey Sculpture Archive. Also, the George Rickey Foundation has placed Rickey’s professional and scholarly papers at the University of Notre Dame Archives, including business correspondence with clients, museums and galleries; engineering drawings and specifications; photographs, videos and films of Rickey’s sculptures, and a computer database of sculptures created by Rickey.