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Two Rocks, Two Fish

The sculpture Two Rocks, Two Fish”by Ohioan Roy Cartwright sits next to the Miami University Art Museum as part of their growing sculpture park.The park is filled with many other modern works of abstract and non-representational art, as part of Miami University’s effort to increase the amount of public art on campus. The park sprawls across the open lot surrounding the Miami University Art Museum, which is located on the edge of campus, next to the historic Western College campus. As part of the museum’s collection this sculpture helps to widen the already expansive collection of the museum, and add to it works from local artists. This piece was acquired through the Robert B. Sinclair Memorial Acquisitions Fund in 1998, which was designed to help promote Ohio artists. 


He is trained in ceramics and has received his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland in 1961 and an MFA in ceramics from the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester, New York. For his work, Cartwright has received many accolades, including grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University Research Council. 


Throughout his career, Cartwright has made pieces reflecting on man’s relationship to the environment, this piece being no exception. Several of is works use botany as their prime influence. He has been quoted in saying that “my intent is to make pieces that are fun to be with. I enjoy shapes, colors, profiles. When others are reminded of experiences in their lives, or are momentarily transformed to anther time/space, that is enough”. After the museum housed a large exhibition featuring the various works of Cartwright, “Two Rocks, Two Fish” was selected to be a permanent part of Miami’s collection. Several others included mosaic elements and his inspiration from nature was made clear throughout. Among the works, several were also inspired by fish, like the sculpture at Miami, such as  a bowl titled “Orange Headed Fish” or the “Mosaic Garden Sculpture with Fish”. Originally, the sculpture was stationed by the duck pond on Western Campus, surrounded by lush greenery and landscaping. While it was housed there, the piece suffered from two acts of vandalism before its relocation to its current position on the East Lawn of the museum, closer to the building. From its location directly outside of the museum, those visiting can take a relaxing walk through the park and contemplate the beauty of nature, and how we as humans interact with it, just as Cartwright would have wanted.