Created in 1977 by artist Patricia A. Renick to commemorate the U.S. Bicentennial, Triceracopter: The Hope for the Obsolescence of War combines the form of a triceratops dinosaur with an Army OH6A Cayuse combat helicopter flown in Vietnam. Although a triceratops and a helicopter are unlikely candidates for a single sculpture, the artist has combined them to invite wonder and nudge reflective thinking.
Renick spent three years gathering the materials for the sculpture and completing the work. With help from the U.S. Army, she secured a badly damaged Vietnam-era helicopter fuselage, reconstructing most of it in fiberglass. Other helicopter parts were found and contributed by U.S. Army National Guard units in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
Triceracopter was last exhibited at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center in 1978. This one-person show included another piece of sculpture by Renick, Self-Portrait: She Became What She Beheld. This piece is a body cast of the artist sitting on a chair, dressed in work clothing and holding a small concept model of the larger work. Instead of the expected life-size human head, Patricia Renick has portrayed herself with the head of her progeny, Triceracopter. Self-Portrait, also on display in Langsam Library, is placed a short distance from the larger work, facing it as if musing about its birth and destiny, but also “becoming” what she is beholding – artist as dinosaur.
More information is available online at http://www.libraries.uc.edu/information/news/pressrelease/1011/triceracopter11.html.