arts

RPS awards receive awards for MAC banners



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The newly re-dedicated Ortman banners hang on Thursday in the main lobby of the Musical Arts Center. Five women in the IU Residential Programs and Services division received the university's top staff award for their work in re-creating the banners, which were re-dedicated by President Michael McRobbie last Saturday. Luke Schram Buy Photos



The E. Ross Bartley Award is the highest award an IU staff member can receive.
Kathy Duncan, Adria Boruff, Lucy Cabrera, Connie Ducker and Jenna Salyers work in the RPS sewing room, where they produce many of the furnishings that hang in campus residence halls.

The team remade the two 21-by-21 foot banners that hang in the MAC after they had become faded by the sun. This is the third fabrication of the banners due to sun
exposure.

“It’s not something we normally do,” said Boruff, one of the seamstresses. “When they brought the project to us, nobody knew what to do with it. It was a big deal for everyone to get it back up.”

Designed by renowned artist George Earl Ortman, the abstract banners have hung in the MAC since it was dedicated in 1972.

The banners comprise blue horizontal and yellow vertical lines, along with red circles and diamonds.

The team began remaking the banners in September and finished in
mid-December.

Seamstress Kathy Duncan said the banners’ size posed a challenge.

“We did not have enough room to lay it out, so we had to go to the Hoosier Den to have the room to lay it flat,” she said. “It was originally in the MAC, so it meant a lot to have everything back to how it was before. It took a lot of effort and work, so it meant a lot to us to be recognized.”

IU President Michael McRobbie presented the award to the five women during the re-dedication ceremony Feb. 15.

“Indiana University is grateful to these five wonderful staff members whose dedication and skill have ensured that these acclaimed and much-loved works of art are once again hanging proudly in the MAC,” McRobbie said in a press release.

The E. Ross Bartley award is given to “a member of the administrative or support staff who demonstrates outstanding leadership skills, service and professional accomplishment at the local, state or national level,” according to the IU website.
 
“It’s very special to us,” Boruff said. “It was a very big deal for us. We got to work on it together. It means so much to us, and to me.”

Follow reporter Sierra Gardner on Twitter @sierralynng.

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