DMU receives sculpture gift, adding to the Grand Avenue “art corridor”

Sculpture dedication ceremony on Sept. 14

Des Moines University (DMU) has received a generous gift of a commissioned sculpture from 1973 alumnus Fredric Gold, D.O. An unveiling and dedication ceremony will be held at noon on Sept. 14, 2018. The public is invited to attend.

The sculpture, named “The Gathering,” will be installed in the front of the Student Education Center on the lawn adjacent to Grand Avenue. It will stand 12 feet tall on a three-foot tall base. The sculpture adds to the sculptures along Des Moines’ Grand Avenue, including those on the grounds of the Des Moines Art Center at 4700 Grand Ave. extending east to the 29 works in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park at 1330 Grand Ave.

Dr. Fredric Gold

Dr. Gold was raised in Detroit and earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University (MSU) in 1970. He attended the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, now DMU, at its then-downtown Des Moines campus. He eventually returned to Detroit for his family medicine practice.

After discovering works by sculptor Charles Strain at a local art show in Detroit, Dr. Gold and his wife, Linda, a former high school art teacher, donated Strain’s sculpture “Duet” to MSU, where it stands on that campus on the banks of the Cedar River. Now retired, they reside in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

 “It is my hope that the emotional impact of this sculpture will inspire others to see it as an icon of what DMU represents to itself and the community,” Dr. Gold said. “As DMU’s three colleges that train future leaders in medicine and the health sciences, it is also important to recognize the culture of support and togetherness that campus is known to promote. One of the main reasons I chose to attend Des Moines University was because of its strong emphasis on primary care and its excellent teaching and clinical staff. We also had the opportunity to train at all of Des Moines’ hospitals and outpatient clinics.”

About the artist

Charles Strain has been creating bronze sculptures for more than 25 years. His body of work includes more than 70 different designs, and most designs are produced in different sizes. He is a 1988 fine arts graduate of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO. He later studied in Florence, Italy, with Studio Art Centers International. His home and studio are in Harrisonburg, MO. His first art show was in St. Louis in 1993.

Strain draws his imagery from the world of nature and life experience. The fusion of man and nature is a predominate theme in his sculpture. The aesthetic lines of the human figure and the celebration of human emotion are vehicles he uses as subject matter in his composition. Happiness, sadness, a moment in time, a familiar experience, a celebration, are some of the experiences that can be found when viewing his sculpture.


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