From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


Science Symposium Schedule


Science Center sculpture arrives Monday, Aug. 22 for assembly 

in new Physicians Atrium


Internationally respected glass artist Kenneth vonRoenn is sure to draw – and wow – a  crowd Aug. 22-23, when his 2-story sculpture is erected in the Physicians Atrium, the dramatic main entry to Manchester College’s new $17 million Science Center.

The 50-foot-long artwork of dichroic acrylic, aluminum tubes and stainless steel cables is designed to animate the atrium space as it creates an ever-changing light show.

On Monday, Aug. 22, vonRoenn and his team from Architectural Glass Art Inc. of Louisville, Ky., will arrive with the partially disassembled sculpture and begin the logistics of assembling and erecting it from steel cables in the Physicians Atrium. The process is expected to take at least two days, as each piece is precisely positioned alongside the open stairway within the railed open-storied structure.

While appearing weightless and almost fluid, the artwork will cast colors as varied as the position of the viewer and the time of day. That diversity will reflect the energy of Manchester College and especially the science program, promises artist vonRoenn. The interwoven ribbons of reflecting acrylic will be structured but unrestricted within circles of aluminum tubing – not unlike the dynamics of the College’s science program.

More than 11 years in the planning, the $17 million Science Center is a focal point on the mall of the liberal arts College, which has a long history of hands-on science education for all of its students, not just science majors. The structure will be dedicated at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, following a day-long Science Symposium. VonRoenn is among the presenters.

The Physicians Atrium honors Manchester College graduates who have or will receive medical degrees. A plaque on the first floor of the atrium recognizes dozens of generous physicians who have contributed to the fund-raising.

The Atrium is flanked on the south by the 150-seat Flory Auditorium, four lecture halls and, on the top floor, greenhouses.  Students using study areas on the second and third floors also will look out onto the sculpture. (Stretching north from the Atrium is a three-story wing of classrooms, laboratories, student-faculty research rooms and faculty offices.)

 Artist vonRoenn has chosen the dichroic acrylic for its startling ability to transmit and reflect colors. As light strikes the glass in the structure, one color is transmitted and its complementary color is reflected. Thus, as the viewer moves, the colors change, energizing and transfixing.

Architectural Glass Works is one of America’s oldest glass studios in continuous operation and is recognized worldwide as an innovative glass studio.  Its work has appeared in every major design magazine and in dozens of books.  The studio designed the world’s largest glass sculpture – the crown of the skyscraper for Wachovia Bank’s headquarters in Charlotte, NC. 

VonRoenn is recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in the arts in the Midwest. His glass sculptures appear at Churchill Downs, Macy’s Department Store, NASA, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Kentucky Museum of Arts, and hundreds of other commercial, private and residential settings. He is working on a glass project for the world’s largest Hindu Temple, in Mayapur, India.

For more about Architectural Glass Art Inc., visit

For more about Manchester College and its new Science Center, visit


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Artist Kenneth vonRoenn's design for his artwork for the Physicians Atrium