Sculptors on Campus

Thirty-one years ago, I began teaching sculpture at CSUB. Coming from USC, I was spoiled by the quantity of public sculptures Los Angeles had to offer. Because there was little public art in Bakersfield in the late 80s and 90s, I was inspired to bring sculptors to make artwork with our students for the campus. Over the years, the artwork has sparked many discussions, and the interaction with the artists has proved to be valuable for both students and faculty. While the red tape would have been too much for a project like this on a bigger campus, the CSUB administration has been amenable.

The artists have been fascinating to work with, and the experience has been enriching for those involved. As the program has gained notoriety, many of the recent artists have come from other countries including Germany, Ivory Coast, Netherlands, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Canada, Japan and Korea. This worked well when students were taking a unit to work with the artists. Recently when we changed to the semester system, the class was made a regular 3 semester unit course. Now we are working on getting artists who can work with our students over a longer period of time during spring semester of each year. 

Students work with the artist on all aspects of the project including concept, selecting a site, collecting materials, fabrication, and installation. Concepts and materials have varied greatly over the years including found objects, ceramics, wood from trees on campus, steel from local industries.


2020 will be the 32nd year of CSUB’s Sculpture on Campus program! This program invites an artist annually to produce an outdoor, sculpture or installation on the California State University, Bakersfield campus with the help of our students. We are hoping to get artists who can work with our students over an extended time during spring semester 2020. After the work is completed, it will be on display for a year or longer (depending on the nature of the project) on loan to the campus, but remaining the property of the artist. The campus is 375 acres with many possible sites. With many mature trees, it is an oasis in the desert landscape of the southern San Joaquin Valley. The region is replete with a rich, diverse cultural and industrial history of multiple migrations, music, oil and gas, agriculture, cattle, sheep and dairy. Cotton is predominant in the area and issues of water and pollution are salient. If you are interested in working with our students to build a sculpture for our campus, please contact me for more information:

Professor Joyce Kohl, Stop 15 FA
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA. 93311-1099 
Phone 661-654-3095



We offer state of the art facilities (including a very large kiln), technical support and student labor. Depending on the project, the budget will be between $3-$4,000, which will include an honorarium, materials and travel. We will provide student, staff, and faculty assistance along with the use of a forklift, wood working tools and equipment, metal tools, and equipment and large commercial kilns. The artist selected will be asked to give a public lecture on campus about their work.



To date, we have had over thirty-five artists. A select list includes: Sachiko Miki (Japan), Walter van Broekhuiven (Netherlands), Cameron Brian (Bakersfield), Joe Barrington (Texas), Suthat Pinruethai (Thailand/Los Angeles), Ernest Daetwyler (Canada), Jems Robert Koko Bi (Ivory Coast/Germany), Cornelia Konrads (Germany), Byoung Tak Moon (Korea), Lori Nozick (New York), Stan Hunter (Sierra Madre, Ca.), Roger Rigorth (Germany), Bongi Park (Korea), and Wendy Klemperer Sachiko Miki (Tokyo), Noel Korten (Los Angeles), Darrin Ekern. Our artist this spring (2019) is Mary Beirele (Claremont, Ca) who is working with us on a very large ceramic sculpture. 

Also, check out three videos of projects done on our campus:

Meet 2019 Sculptor on Campus: Mary Beierle

Mary Beierle

Mary Beierle grew up alongside the Los Angeles Mountains and has trekked throughout the mountains and glaciers of the American West.  The trembling of the tectonic shifts in that rugged terrain and the visual imprint of that geology are major influences in her work.  She merges images of the landscape with abstracted human forms to explore our relationship with the natural world.   Her sculptures evoke a tapestry of ideas ranging from the mundane to the heroic.  These ideas are explored through emerging and receding figures, glazing as subject and composition, and contrasts of scale - from miniature to massive, larger than life-sized, pieces. She is interested in creating an experience of form and space that the viewer may touch, peer into, and encounter from various perspectives.

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Sculptures on Campus

Sculptures on Campus

We currently have 14 sculptures on campus along with rotating temporary ones. Can you find them all?

Click here for a campus map of of our sculptures on campus.

Click here for a self guided tour of our sculptures.