Where is my mother?: An iconic statue’s relocation causes a stir in the art department

"Mother" by former Baylor art student Tara Ebeling.
“Mother” by former Baylor art student Tara Ebeling.

By Shannon Barbour

The towering 11-foot, off-white, angel-like figure that used to be located in the grassy area between Burleson Hall and Draper Academic Building has been moved to the back of Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

Originally created by former Baylor art student Tara Ebeling in 2006, “Mother” was to be in place for a year. However, it was located outside Bennett Auditorium for nine years.

Students in senior lecturer Karen Pope’s Art 1300 class expressed concerns for the relocation of the sculpture in course papers.

“It was not intended to be in an area where it is not seen,” said Houston junior Charlotte Malone, one of Pope’s students. “It faces out into an area where literally thousands of students pass everyday and now it is in an area that is hardly seen at all.”

Pope said the statue is important to the art department because it gives an example of what a committed art major is capable of.

Pope said she is afraid that given its location, it appears to be headed for the garbage in the near future.

“I was struck by how many students noticed it had disappeared and found themselves upset that it was missing,” Pope said. “They discovered that it had meant something to them and so they felt they’d lost something.”

While some students seem to be concerned with the removal of the sculpture from the center of campus, others like Frisco senior Evan Dinger said it seemed out of place at its previous location.

It is unclear who decided to move the sculpture and why, but Pope’s student hopes it will be placed between Burleson and Draper again.

“Hopefully in due time, Baylor can realize the value of ‘Mother’ and move it back to somewhere where it can be appreciated by all,” Malone said.

Pope said she would also like the sculpture to be removed from the art building and placed in a visible location.

“I like the idea that it will be where more people will see it and that the setting would be hospitable to the sculpture,” Pope said.