ONEONTA, N.Y. -- The SUNY College at Oneonta has selected artist Haifa Bint-Kadi to create an outdoor piece of public art that symbolizes the College's commitment to diversity and inclusion. After an open competition, the SUNY Oneonta President's Council on Diversity chose Ms. Bint-Kadi to construct a large mosaic pole sculpture as the focal point for the College's annual Tapestry of Diversity Award.
The sculpture, which will be located in the main campus quad between the Netzer Administration Building and Schumacher Hall, will be installed in August. Beginning in the fall of 2010, one individual or group will be honored with the Tapestry of Diversity Award, based on nominations from the campus community, to recognize their exceptional contributions to fostering diversity and inclusion at SUNY Oneonta. The award recipient will add his or her own mosaic design to the sculpture.
The sculpture will be composed of seven separate poles that represent the unique cultures and races of the seven continents. They will be united by a larger mosaic pole sculpture that is banded with tapestry and weaving patterns from around the world.
According to Ms. Bint-Kadi, "Pole sculptures are designed to represent a community committed to the diversity of the world outside and one that promotes intellectual inquiry, dialogue, reflection and activities pivotal to sustaining multiple cultures, encouraging scholarship and knowledge in an environment that facilitates exchange among different perspectives and ways of being. Diversity at its core includes recognizing and embracing the value of 'difference' and that a multiplicity of ideas, voices and perspectives only enriches our social, cultural and intellectual world."
Haifa Bint Kadi has been creating public art mosaics since 1993. As a teaching artist, she has worked with students through the Westchester Arts Council, Hudson River Museum, Beczak Environmental Education Center, Citylore, Groundwork Yonkers, and Manhattanville College. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Instituto d'Arte per il mosaico di Ravenna in Italy and a bachelor's degree from Willamette University in Oregon.
More information about the SUNY Oneonta Tapestry of Diversity Award is available at www.oneonta.edu/admin/oei/tapestry/