Vice Chancellor Peggy Delaney was the delighted recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Arts Advocate award, announced at the September Arts retreat and presented in January by Arts Dean David Yager.
In addition to being our Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget, Delaney is a Professor of Ocean Sciences and a vigorous champion of the Arts here on our campus. She supports research opportunities for our faculty, encourages visibility of student artwork as well as remaining a longtime supporter of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. The Dean's Office and Chancellor's Office together have sponsored an on-going exhibition of original artworks created by and curated by Art students. The exhibition lines the hallways and walls of Chancellor's suite offices, and changes regularly in order to afford maximum visibility of student creations.
It seemed only fitting that this year's Arts Advocate award—presented by the Dean recently in an impromptu ceremony—was itself a commissioned student artwork. The table-top organically-shaped sculpture was designed and created by Leslie Thompson. A re-entry student and 2010 Irwin Art Scholar, Thompson created her abstract sculpture in a Metal Fabrication class of steel punch-outs salvaged from a local metal shop. The bits of steel she used are known in the trade as "slugs," and Thompson thought the coincidental reference to UCSC's beloved banana slug mascot was the clear mark of destiny. A donated piece of redwood—a visual metaphor for the campus and its stands of monumental redwoods—forms the sculpture's base.