Circle/Sphere and Nugget - Art by Fred J. Tschida

Miss the Orb?

In March and April 2001, neon artist Fred Tschida installed his striking neon sculpture "Circle/Sphere" in the apse of the Musselman Library. The orb rotated, hummed (slightly) and was said to actively speak the words, "Do not study, go eat ice cream."

The installation of the orb provoked a lively debate on "what is art" and "what is the proper venue for art" on the campus. Student comments ranged from appreciation to hostility. Members of the community were encouraged to record their comments on butcher block paper taped to the walls adjacent to the sculpture. These remarks are now in the archives along with photos of the controversial orb. If you miss the orb you can experience the sculpture by selecting the real-time video on this page.

Read Libby's interview with Mark Warwick on the orb

What Libby said to a sad senior about the orb

About the Artist

Professor Of Glass Design at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and Director Of Museum Of Luminous Phenomena

"My work consists of a series of experiments; research focused on isolating light phenomena in everyday experience."

A.A., University of Minnesota , B.A., St. Cloud State University, M.F.A., University of Minnesota

See the Circle/Sphere in motion
(requires an .mpg player)


Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas
  • William Traver Gallery, Seattle, Washington
  • Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York City, New York
  • Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
  • Museum of Luminous Phenomena, Alfred, New York

Selected Lectures/Workshops


  • Pilchuck Glass School; Rhode Island School of Design
  • The School of the Chicago Art Institute
  • Ohio State University at Columbus
  • New York Experimental Glass Workshop, New York City, New York
  • University of Montana at Bozman
  • Espace Verre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Mason Gross School for the Arts
  • Rutgers University
  • Tulane University, New Orleans
  • Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
  • Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut


About the Art

Neon and Mixed Media, 2000

A slowly moving 12-foot neon circle becomes almost hypnotic as it continually describes circle, ellipse and line. A photographic time exposure of 360 degrees motion captures its rotational path and clearly describes a sphere.

Mixed Media and Copper Nugget, 2000 (located in box on the wall)

The natural Michigan Float Copper Nugget is allowed to be itself in the circuit, which provides the electricity to the kinetic sculpture Circle/Sphere.

This installation was at Gettysburg from March 26 - April 22, 2001 as part of a larger exhibition being held at Schmucker Art Gallery. At the close of our exhibition, Circle/Sphere traveled to Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina.

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