Walking in unison, the twelve metal figures stride for an unknown destination. Together, these anonymous figures are supporting each other as they move into the future. Placed on the Iowa State University campus, this sculpture represents the relationships formed within the collegiate environment. Friendly relationships between students or professional relationships among faculty, both are important to the success of ISU. The artist, Bill King, intended these figures to be simplified and without individual characteristic as a technique to attract the attention of the viewer. Since the figures have no race, gender, or specific appearance, all people are able to relate to them.
If you look closely at the figures individually, each is positioned in a slightly different direction. This begs the question, are the figures really walking together? My interpretation of this, slight difference in position, relates to the student body as a whole. Each of us is unique and we all hope for something different when we first come to college. However, as the semesters go by, we find that many of us have dreams and aspirations in common. These commonalities are what create lifelong friendships.
In my opinion, each figure is moving forward in their own life. There is no leader or follower, each has their own goals. However, while striving for personal success, everyone needs the support of their friends. To me, the sculpture is addressing the importance of creating your own path, while understanding your need for friends. With support, each of us can become better people, citizens, and students.
- By Libby Grant