SLU dedicates Lay Sculpture Park

The Saint Louis University Lay Center for Education and the Arts
will officially dedicate the Henry Lay Sculpture Park and Story
Woods, a children’s sculpture park, this weekend with a free
festival to commemorate the event.

The Lay Center is located in Louisiana, Mo., approximately 90
miles from the Frost Campus, on 350 acres of land. The property was
donated by Henry Anthony Lay, an alumnus of the SLU School of Law.
Lay had a vision of creating a place where education and arts can
be combined with the beauty of nature.

The center first opened on May 2, 1998, but according to Leslie
Pinkston, director of University Event Services, the dedication of
the sculpture park has been delayed over the years due to
construction and project completion by the artists. Event Services
is in charge of booking the center.

The Henry Lay Sculpture Park is a 20-acre park that includes a
walking trail and lakes. Featured artists include Wendy Klemperer
of New York, Devin Laurence Field of Oregon, Brian Rust of Georgia,
and Bing Cheng of Beijing. “Story Woods” is geared toward children
and includes sculptures aimed to stimulate the imagination.

The Center is designed as a retreat center for students, faculty
and staff, with sleeping accommodations for up to 48 people. There
is also an auditorium for meetings that seats up to 75 people, as
well as four smaller classrooms that can accommodate 20 people
each. There is also a cafeteria that can serve breakfast, lunch and
dinner and can also be used as meeting space.

According to Pinkston, some departments and alumni currently use
the facility, as well as some local Louisiana groups. She cited
construction as one of the challenges to getting groups to book the
center for retreat purposes.

“Now that it’s finished, I definitely think it will be
successful in the future,” Pinkston said.

The festivities this weekend include lunch, children’s
activities and arts and craft sales. The dedication will take place
at 11 a.m. with the entire event running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.