Ingrid Lilligren


She Was the Best Listener, 2011 
Paula Cowgill Gmelch memorial, Lagomarcino Courtyard, Iowa State. 52" x 25" x 25", stoneware, slip, stain

Walt Gmelch asked in March of 2009 if I would create a sculpture in memory of Paula; a great honor. Ben's eulogy and correspondence with Walt provided ideas for the piece -- a stack of books with titles selected by family members, topped with a basin to catch rainwater. Perennial flowers would bloom in the adjacent planters; the title came from Ben's words: She Was The Best Listener. Using Curious George and Peter Pan and the Tiger to begin the stack honors Paula's love of children and her engagement with early childhood education. Though Little Women is not that size in real life but it played an important role in Paula's (and in my own) early life as a reader. I did take some liberties with proportions to create a more dynamic overall composition.