Retired dean, professor help renovate sculpture

Danielle Tadlock, Staff Reporter

A renovated sculpture made of White Oak.
Jeff Boshart and James Johnson renovated a sculpture by Scott P McMillin from California.

James Johnson and Jeff Boshart, both former EIU professors, were renovating on a sculpture from Mt. Vernon Ill Thursday morning.

The retired professor and the retired dean were putting the finishing touches on renovating a sculpture outside of the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

The sculpture created by Scott P. McMillan, an artist from California, is name the Ties the Bind.

The project, which began in June, sparked after Johnson and Boshart were at the Kuenz Sculpture Park in Mount Vernon, Ill and saw that it had been sitting there for 14 years deteriorating.

“Pine might have worked in the dry heat of California, but here in Illinois, pine attracts bugs and wilts away,” Boshart said.

They both decided to renovate the sculpture using old photos and what was left of the structure to measure and create a new sculpture made of white oak.

“We try to get the exact measurements because this isn’t our sculpture, it’s theirs’,” Boshart said. “When renovating you have to set aside your personal artistic skills and do what the artist wants.”

They plan on returning the sculpture to Mount Vernon on Tuesday.

“It’s expected to last 75 years or more after renovating it,” Boshart said.

Danielle Tadlock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].