UT Dallas Magazine

40-Year Love Story

It’s been 40 years since Jack arrived on campus, and during his stay he’s become a campus icon. Affectionately known as the Love Jack by generations of UT Dallas students, the 10-foot-by-10-foot red, steel sculpture was created by Texas artist Jim Love and was gifted to UT Dallas in 1976. Students in Dr. Paul Fishwick’s Creative Automata Lab recently studied the artwork. Here are a few of the highlights:

The Artist

Love’s first sculptures consisted of items found anywhere, from beaches to junkyards. He later became a master welder and focused on crafting artwork from steel. His pieces have been featured in several museums in the United States and throughout his adopted hometown of Houston. (By the way, Jack has a 5-foot-by-5-foot sibling — also named Jack — that is displayed at Rice University.)

Where Art Thou, Jack?

Love Jack stood for years between the University Theatre and the Erik Jonsson Academic Center. The sculpture now has a new home in an open courtyard of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, as well as a fresh coat of red paint.

Here to Stay

Jack arrived at the University as part of a contemporary art exhibit in 1976 and was eventually gifted to UT Dallas.

Creating Jack

Melissa Dagley, a computer science graduate student who was in Fishwick’s lab, posits that the sculpture is composed of “one long center pole, with four shorter poles attached perpendicularly every 90 degrees.” Steel caps inscribed with the word “Love” were also placed at the end of each pole.

–Paul Bottoni

The Love Jack in its original location between Jonsson Center and the University Theatre.