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Continuum - The Human-Animal Journey in Art

On Saturday, September 23, 2000 Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine unveiled and dedicated a 45-foot-long bronze sculpture depicting the history of the human-animal bond.The human-animal journey in art.

Commissioned by the school in 1998, "Continuum" features seven distinct pieces, including a variety of life-sized animals and humans. One of the most striking elements is a cave wall 16-feet wide and nine-feet tall. The cave scene depicts prehistoric animal drawings, with the animal shapes cut out in cookie-cutter fashion. Three of the figures - a horse, a pig and a cat - show, in relief, their skeletal, circulatory and nervous systems, respectively. A female veterinary professional is depicted holding a stethoscope up to a calf. A male figure dressed in a laboratory coat observes a tray of test tubes representing veterinary research. Leading the procession is a boy running with his dog.

"Continuum" was paid for entirely by private gifts, including support from the estate of Margery Kahn, who was an Evansville, Ind., artist and was a client of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association.

Our society has greatly elevated the level of respect for animals and their role as human companions and it is very appropriate to demonstrate our appreciation of the value of the human-animal bond through public art. The human journey has always included animals. Animals were part of our strategy for survival and health and "Continuum" shows us the journey.