Title of Work
Date of Work
1996 with revisions in 2007
Cast urethane and wood
Art & Design Study Collection
Displayed: Main floor
Audrey Flack is an internationally renowned New York artist, who emerged as a major painter in both the photo realist and feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s. At the height of her acclaim as a painter she abandoned that medium to become a sculptor.
Known to be a strong advocate for teachers, Flack was the keynote speaker at the National Art Education Association Convention in 2007. During the same year, she came to UND as a Visiting Artist and worked closely with student assistants on multiple editions of prints. By working alongside Flack, the students gained a valuable learning experience.
The colossal sculpture, Daphne, was purchased with funds from the Myers Foundations. The story of Daphne involves her fleeing Apollo and crying for help from Mother Earth, who comes to her rescue by transforming her into a laurel tree. Instead of representing Daphne from the perspective of ancient prototype as found in Greek or Roman art and literary versions of the myth, Flack conceives her subject as a contemporary ecological icon.
During her metamorphoses from nymph to tree. Flack’s Daphne not only sprouts branches, but also “bears fruit.” In doing so she may be understood in metaphoric terms to represent a promising future–perhaps analogous to the promise of a good education. With this interpretation of Daphne in mind, the placement of the sculpture in the Education Building may allude to the transformative role of education in people’s lives.