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/ Exhibitions / 37th Rosen Sculpture Competition and Exhibition

37th Rosen Sculpture Competition and Exhibition

May 26, 2023 – May 14, 2024(This exhibition has passed.)

Outdoor campus

The Rosen Sculpture Competition and Exhibition is a national juried competition presented annually by An Appalachian Summer Festival and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Since its establishment by Martin and Doris Rosen in 1987, the Rosen Competition continues a tradition of showcasing contemporary American sculpture in outdoor settings across the beautiful campus of Appalachian State University.

The competition, in its 37th year, has become firmly established as a cultural treasure and a significant point of pride for Appalachian State University and our entire region. The competition has garnered national praise for the free access to the “best of the best” in contemporary sculpture it offers for countless residents and visitors across North Carolina and beyond.

The Rosen Family proudly continues the legacy of Martin and Doris by generously supporting this important program dedicated to sharing the power and joy of public art, creating a fascinating glimpse into the world of contemporary sculpture, and building new audiences for the visual arts.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Martin & Doris Rosen Giving Fund/Debbie Rosen Davidson and David Rosen and the Charles & Nancy Rosenblatt Foundation.

David Sheldon, Orion, 2020- 37th Rosen Sculpture Competition First Place Winner

David Sheldon, Orion, 2020- 37th Rosen Sculpture Competition First Place Winner


ZigZag Blues, 2021

Glenn Zweygardt
Alfred Station, NY

Painted steel, cast glass, black granite
126” x 32” x 16”

Artist statement

Finding one’s place in a relationship with nature is the theme of my sculpture. While working with materials such as metal and stone, a relationship between nature and myself is formed. I want to tell stories and comment on my collective life experience and my perception of a collective consciousness. Hopefully, these ideas and expressions will enter into human consciousness and the fourth dimensions.

About the artist

Glenn Zweygardt was born and raised in northwest Kansas, earned his BFA from Wichita State University, KA in 1967. In 1969, he completed his MFA at the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. He taught sculpture at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University from1969-2007 where he is a professor emeritus. Zweygardt has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout North America and in Europe. Select examples include the Wichita Museum of Art, Wichita, KS; Shidoni Outdoor Sculpture, Tesuque, NM; Enamel Today der Stadt, Uster, Switzerland; Mitchell Museum Sculpture Outdoors, Mt. Vernon, IL; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY as well as many university collections. His work is included in numerous private and public collections such as the Heubey Fine Arts Academy, Wuhan, China; The Rouse Company, Baltimore, MD; Nelson Rockefeller Collection; Mr. and Mrs, P.I. Berman Collection and many more.

Maman, 2020

Adam Walls
Hope Mills, NC

Stainless Steel
2’ x 2’ x 3’

Artist statement

My sculpture is concept driven and is often highly viewer interactive. The conceptual component of my work is often derived from some memory that was stirred by the shape of some memento that I have held on to since childhood. These things bring up thoughts and experiences that challenge me and guide me through the creative process. There are elements in much of my larger works that are derived from my love of fantasy, escapism, and pop-culture imagery. My sculpture ranges in size drastically from minuscule to monumental.

Some of my sculptures only require the viewer to watch as they see themselves reflected atop a difficult and imposing staircase which could represent the challenges we face in order to achieve our goals. In whatever way a viewer chooses to engage my work, I find that it is not always necessary that the viewer understand my concept, but it is important that I provide an experience that encourages the viewer to see and engage with art more often.

About the artist

Adam Walls has been creating art for public exhibition since 2004. He received his BA in Art Education in 1996 from Limestone College and taught art in art centers, public schools, and out of his own studio until receiving his MFA in sculpture from Winthrop University in 2005. Since receiving his MFA, Adam’s work has appeared in Sculpture Magazine, been the topic of discussion on NPR and ETV, and has been exhibited in over one hundred outdoor sculpture exhibitions. Adam Walls currently resides in Tryon NC and serves as the head of the sculpture program at UNC-Pembroke.

Space Flower, 2023

Wesley Stewart
Augusta, GA

Painted and welded steel
144” x 64” x 62”

Artist statement

My current artwork explores abstract shapes, lines, and pattern juxtaposed with biomes, thus creating contrast of space, traditional fine art, and Street Art. A Biome is an area of the planet and is made of several ecosystems of living and nonliving things in an environment, often formed in response to a shared climate. I am interested in public art and how murals, sculpture, and installations reinvent or alter spaces.

I build three-dimensional work one piece at a time – without strict guidelines – since exhausted in countless sketchbooks and drawings. This allows for a conversation between the material and artist or what I call “Drawing in Space” (DiS). Sculptures are either left in their raw form, painted, or combined with other materials.

About the artist

Wesley L. Stewart was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia.  Stewart’s current artwork explores biomes juxtaposed with abstract shapes, lines, and pattern, thus creating contrast of space, traditional fine art, and street art. He is interested in public art and how murals, sculpture, and installations reinvent or alter spaces.

Stewart received a BFA from Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia and a MFA – emphasis in Sculpture – from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. He also works under the moniker Regal Hyena and is engaged in cross-disciplinary collaboration with other artists. Gestural energy, scale, linear marks, biota, movement, pattern, intense colors, textures, Street Art, cartoons, video games, mixed media, and materials are woven into the work. His public work can be found on the University of North Georgia campus in Dahlonega, Georgia and at the entrance to the Beacon Station Apartments in Augusta, Georgia.

The Long and Winding Road, 2022

Beau Lyday
Valdese, NC

Aged tin, wood, steel
80” x 52” x 28”

Artist statement

I feel that a piece of art does not have to be shocking to have worth. Instead, an artwork can mesmerize a person, moving one to a place of safety or sanctuary and instilling a sense of peace. In these unfathomably violent times, there is a special need for healing art. That is my hope.

About the artist

Beau Lyday was born in Athens, Georgia in 1955. He has been sculpting in metal and wood since 2009. His major influences are Gothic and mid-eastern architecture, Celtic symbols, and sacred geometry. After forty years in the furniture business, he left to pursue his art, believing that being an artist is something that one is born to and compelled to do. He utilizes practical experience, learning through trial and error, and trying new techniques. The study of ancient places, sacred geometry and symbols have become his mentors in guiding his work. His recent large works create a sense of place. Being sculptural and structural, a person can stand inside a piece or sit down to become involved with it, embracing the peace within the shelter of the sculpture.

Doppler Effect, 2020

Hanna Jubran
Grimesland, NC

Steel, pain
8’ x 52” x 2’

Artist statement

The nature of my goals for art is to reflect my own aesthetic views, concepts and sincerity of expression. My journey began when I left my hometown of Jish in Upper Galilee, Palestine in 1967. My vision, goal, and dream are to become an active voice out of this relatively invisible place. Therefore, there is no choice but to continue my intended journey and to give to my community in the East and West a feeling of accomplishment and pride. I am emotionally motivated to be creative and a contributor to humanity. For me, sculptural research is an opportunity I cannot ignore.

About the artist

Beau Lyday was born in Athens, Georgia in 1955. He has been sculpting in metal and wood since 2009. His major influences are Gothic and mid-eastern architecture, Celtic symbols, and sacred geometry. After forty years in the furniture business, he left to pursue his art, believing that being an artist is something that one is born to and compelled to do. He utilizes practical experience, learning through trial and error, and trying new techniques. The study of ancient places, sacred geometry and symbols have become his mentors in guiding his work. His recent large works create a sense of place. Being sculptural and structural, a person can stand inside a piece or sit down to become involved with it, embracing the peace within the shelter of the sculpture.

Trinity 2, 2020-2021

Bob Doster
Lancaster, SC

Carbon infused stainless steel
104” x 48” x 48”

Artist statement

I love making sculpture.  Whether you are searching for that perfect touch for your home or office, I can make what you are looking for.

About the artist

Bob Doster is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed artist who has been creating and teaching for more than 50 years. Prestigious awards include the South Carolina Governor’s highest recognition in the arts, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award. He has been named Keeper of Culture by the York Heritage and Cultural Commission as well as Hero of the Child by South Carolina First Steps, CN2 Hometown Hero, and he received the City of Lancaster Mayoral Proclamation. Doster’s work has been featured in publications and broadcasts including Southern Living Magazine, Carolina Arts, Sandlapper, SCETV, Arts Hub, and the National Welders Magazine, among others. Works by Doster can be found in museums, galleries, public art exhibitions, corporate and private collections worldwide. His work has juried into a myriad of local, statewide, and national competitions.

Room, 2022

Sophia Dominici
Greensboro, NC

Welded steel
45” x 35” x 43”

Artist statement

In this piece, I was exploring the concept of a diorama through creating an environment with metal. I was interested in taking a craft that is typically small-scale and delicate, and making it on a much larger scale with a robust material like steel. Usually when I’m working, I am focused on creating an object to occupy a space. With this piece, I wanted the sculpture to be the space itself. I created a room without a visible tenant to allow for an outside source to become the object that occupies that space. Giving it the ability to simultaneously be an object in space, while also being a potential space for an object to inhabit. Whether it is a bug that’s landed there, or a piece of trash someone threw in.

About the artist

Sophia Dominici is an artist currently living and working in Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 2022 with a BFA in Sculpture and Ceramics. In creating work, Dominici primarily focuses on the combination of materials and creating texture.

Butterfly Weed, 2023

David Boyajian
New Fairfield, CT

120” x 72” x 60”

Artist statement

Regardless of what materials I use or what form my sculptures take – be they volumetric, concave / convex, linear or plainer, forged, fabricated, or carved – I deal with the same poetic perceptions.My work centers around images that relate to man/woman’s relationship to their physical environment. I often begin with an architectural element such as a gate, column or window symbolizing passage and transformation as it relates to the journey of life. My shapes often define a narrative or metaphor by juxtaposing images from nature against the use of industrial materials within the architectural environment. My themes are based on observations of nurturing, regeneration, and growth, as well as poetic concepts relating to community, tolerance, and acceptance.

About the artist

David Boyajian is an artist, art instructor, and the owner of David Boyajian Sculpture Studio in New Fairfield, Connecticut. In the early 1980s, Boyajian studied at Alfred University, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute Rinehart School of Sculpture. Following his fine art education, Boyajian continued his studies while assisting figurative sculptors Wolfgang Behl, Elbert Weinberg, and Andrew Coppola. Over the course of his thirty-plus-year career, Boyajian has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including SculptureNow on The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Massachusetts, Bull City Sculpture Show in Durham, North Carolina, and ‘Genesis,’ an outdoor solo show at the Robert Moses Sculpture Garden at Fordham University.

Boyajian’s numerous public commissions include “The Weaving Shuttle” and “The Eye of the Needle” at the Mansfield Town Square in Mansfield, Connecticut, “Lift,” a memorial to a former student at the Canterbury School in New Milford, and “Sanctuary” at the 9/11 Living Memorial at Sherwood Island for the state of Connecticut. His teaching career has spanned over twenty years at institutions such as Western Connecticut State University, Silvermine School of Art, and Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford.

Sentinel, 2022

Carl Billingsley
Ayden, NC

Galvanized steel, aluminum
2’ x 3’ x 12’

Artist statement

For me sculpture is a special means of communication, a way to express some of my thoughts and ideas about the human condition. I usually create abstract sculptures that don’t represent objects, persons, or creatures. More likely, the sculptures are about human activities and ideas that have preoccupied our species for millennia. Ideas such as wayfinding, discovery of the materials and processes that have enabled us to build modern civilization and how those activities and materials are still in use today. I often reference history and technical processes; I always try to show something about how the sculpture was created. In a casting, for instance, I will often leave mold lines visible so that the viewers can understand that the sculpture was cast. When I carve stone or wood, I leave tool marks. I am inspired by my connection as an artist to all artists that have gone before me and all those who will follow. We are part of a great continuum of human history.

About the artist

Carl Billingsley was born in 1943 in Oklahoma. He writes about his life: “My father was in France with the US Army. He remained in the Army after the war and I became an “Army Brat,” as we were frequently called whenever we moved to a new town. My early experiences as an ‘outsider’ probably made me more comfortable with new ideas and less conventional ways of doing and thinking. When we did return to Fort Sill, our home base in Oklahoma, I spent as much time with my maternal grandparents as possible. I was very close to my granddad who was a carpenter. I went to the jobsite with him whenever possible and it was through helping him and being taught how to build things that I acquired my love of making. When I was about 9 years old, we were posted to Germany. We lived in two different cities during the three years we were there, and I discovered the world of museums, cities, cathedrals, and monuments. It was in Germany that I first really encountered sculpture, I was amazed and awed by what I saw.” Billingsley received an MFA from the School of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1985. He taught at the School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Department of Art at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and the School of Art & Design at East Carolina University before retiring in 2014.

Orion, 2020

David Sheldon
Etowah, NC

Painted steel
90” x 48” x 32”

Artist statement

Having lived in the Western North Carolina mountains for many years, I draw from the power and majesty of the mountains, the star-filled skies at night, and a sense that one is connected, in some way, to this vast, mysterious universe that we live in. My Skyworks series of sculptures are created with what I like to call a ‘NASA aesthetic’ and are inspired, in outward form, by the immaculate instruments of space exploration. Artmaking allows me to explore the mysteries of the universe with a more metaphysical approach, allowing room for questions rather than supplying concrete answers.

About the artist

David Sheldon received a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1984. His time at RISD included a formative year spent painting in Rome, Italy, as part of RISD’s European Honors Program. As a grad student, he brought sculpture into the mix. His thesis exhibition for his MFA in 1990 at the University of Maryland incorporated large-scale, mixed-media paintings, as well as sculptural works. Mentors have included internationally acclaimed sculptor, Anne Truitt, and sculptor James Sanborn. Sheldon worked as an assistant to Sanborn on his monumental work, Kryptos, installed at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, 1990. Sheldon continues to create cutting-edge sculptural works in metal, as well as provocative public art.

About the juror

Jennifer Hecker

Jennifer Hecker is a professor in the Department of Art at the State University of New York College at Brockport. She has an extensive and diverse exhibition record that includes solo exhibits, commissions, collaborative installations, public art projects, outdoor sculpture displays, adjudicated exhibitions, and permanent collections. Jennifer’s work has won awards in several exhibitions, including: 1st Place in the nationally adjudicated “Momentum” exhibition in Toledo, Ohio (2017); 2nd Place in the nationally adjudicated “Hot Glass” exhibition in Cumberland, Maryland (2017); CITY Newspaper’s “Critic’s Pick Award” in the Rochester Contemporary Members’ Exhibition (2016); and 1st Place in the adjudicated, regional sculpture exhibition “After the Pedestal” at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, Ohio (2015). Jennifer has been the recipient of awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester, the United University Professions and SUNY College at Brockport. Her work is included in the permanent collections of ProMedica Corporate Headquarters in Toledo, OH; The Red Cross in Rochester, NY; The Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD, and SUNY College at Brockport, as well as private collections in New York, North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Virginia, Kansas, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Minnesota. View Jennifer Hecker’s website.

The Turchin Center is proud to welcome Jennifer Hecker as our distinguished juror for the 37th Annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition 2023-2024.

About the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition

Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition logo

This nationally recognized juried competition, established in 1987, has long been credited with enhancing the cultural landscape of the High Country region, while serving as a highlight and point of pride for the university’s summer arts festival, An Appalachian Summer Festival.

Reflecting the vision and generosity of Martin and Doris Rosen, an extraordinary couple whose lives were shaped by the spirit of public service and philanthropy, the competition brings a remarkable array of contemporary sculpture to our campus and community.

Each year, ten sculptures are selected for exhibition, and are situated in outdoor, public settings across the university campus. A cash prize is awarded to the artist whose work is chosen as each year’s Rosen Award winner, which is announced by the juror at the popular Annual Sculpture Walk, a highlight of every summer festival season. In the last several years, two additional sculptures have been selected. One is installed on campus at Appalachian House and another at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

Over the years, the exhibition program has earned an international reputation for showcasing the finest in contemporary sculpture, and has become a source of inspiration for thousands of visitors, area residents, and members of the university community who enjoy access to a diverse and ever-changing selection of outdoor sculpture each season.

Martin & Doris Rosen

Vision, generosity, and a pursuit of excellence are some of the many qualities that characterized the lives of Martin and Doris Rosen. From their years devoted to building a successful business, to their lives after retirement, revolving around family, philanthropy, and a commitment to the arts, this exceptional couple left an indelible mark on the communities in which they lived and worked.

Thanks to the continuing generosity of the Rosen Family, Martin and Doris’s legacy of support for quality visual arts programming has been continued by their children, and enables this beloved exhibition program to continue to develop and flourish. In July 1997, the Rosens donated Hephaestus, a large commissioned sculpture by Bruce White, to Appalachian State’s Permanent Collection, and it adorns the Rivers Street frontage area of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts to this day.

On the occasion of the Rosens’ 50th wedding anniversary in October 1999, their children established the Martin and Doris Rosen Scholarship to assist rising junior or senior art majors at Appalachian State. Tireless supporters of the arts, the Rosen Family has given so much of themselves over the years to ensure that the arts remain a strong foundation of campus and community life in the High Country. We wish to extend to them our deepest appreciation.

Martin and Doris Rosen
Martin and Doris Rosen
Martin and Doris Rosen

Contact us

Please address all inquiries to:

Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition
c/o Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
PO Box 32139
423 West King Street
Boone, NC 28608


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