As Oregon Tech faculty and students rejoin campus this September, workers put the finishing touches on a permanent art installation in the southwest corner of Cornett Hall.

Commissioned by the Oregon Arts Commission Percent for Art program, which allocates funds for art in public spaces, the piece titled “Fibonacci’s Arc” presents a striking feature at nearly 38-foot-tall of layered steel and completes the renovation of Oregon Tech’s Cornett Hall.

Arc model inside Cornett
Professor C.J. Riley shows the small-scale model

The artwork has been a year in the making after Seattle-based artist, John Fleming, was commissioned to make the piece for the University. After starting design work in Sept. 2020, Fleming began working with Oregon Tech Civil Engineering professor, Dr. C.J. Riley, who was part of the artwork selection committee. Professor Riley had an exciting proposition—students in his Structural Matrix Analysis course were ready and capable of making a mini production of the arc to gauge points for welds, weight distribution and more. Since the end product would be 22,000-pounds, this proved to be a very effective tool. The artist also benefited from Civil Engineering student Devin Anderson Moser’s ability to be the go-between for him and the structural engineering company, Precision Structural Engineering, Inc.

While the location of the artwork could have been in a variety of places in or near Cornett Hall, Fleming wanted something that belonged to Cornett, but was available for everyone to enjoy.

The sculpture itself was brought to campus in large pieces and welded together over a few days before finally being lifted into its upright position by a crane.

While towering three stories tall and weighing the same as one and a half school buses, Fibonacci’s Arc remains fluid—at the top point, the metal is about a half-inch thick and four inches wide and moves with the wind. On a normal, calm day, the tip points at the Crater Lake National Park and at Civil Engineering labs within Cornett Hall.

Oregon’s Percent for Art in Public Places Program

This project is made possible through Oregon’s Percent for Art in Public Places program [ORS 276.073-909], managed by the Oregon Arts Commission. Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to pass Percent for Art legislation, placing works of art in public spaces throughout Oregon. The state art collection now includes more than 2,500 artworks. The Oregon Percent for Art in Public Places Collection can be viewed online.