handsome sculpture is made up of gold and silver iridescent pieces
built together in a roughly horizontal-diamond
shape measuring six feet up and down. Crafted over ten months,
the work contains 160 small tiles and 200 fretwork pieces. The
harmonious work suggests the complexity of language and ideas,
with each tile containing a symbol from one of the world's languages,
both ancient and modern."
Alpha-Omega was commissioned by SMC and dedicated by the Class
of 1991 to their classmate John
Caswell, who accidentally drowned
before graduation. It was dedicated on June 12, 1993. The gilded
wood tiles were done in a technique called "pastiglia."
sculpture hangs against the dark red brick lined stairwell
of the Durrick Library at Saint Michael's College, Winooski,
It was blessed by a priest with holy water and I prayed that
of it would get onto the gilding!
SMC Art Committee arranged for the purchase of the work of art,
chaired by Patricia Slattery, human resources director.
want to acknowledge Gregory Petrin's contribution to the project
as my wood craftsperson. He crafted the fretwork
frame and the
individual squares [tessera] for me to model, paint and
gild all these pieces.
We worked at his gallery Twin Columns in Claremont where
I did most of the modeling and gilding of the many parts.
that I completed the two side wings of my big triptych
inspired by the poem There Is No Frigate Like A Book by Emily
is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!