Faculty contribute to new Bob Evans Farms corporate campus

November 12, 2013

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Bob Evans Farms and the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College have enjoyed a unique partnership dating back to the 1950s.

So when the company unveiled its new corporate campus Oct. 26 in New Albany, Ohio, it should come as no surprise that Rio Grande faculty played a vital role in helping Bob Evans create “an interactive, educational farm experience” that pays respect to the original Rio Grande farm.

“This campus is a true representation of our brand,” said Bob Evans Farms Chairman and CEO Steven A. Davis in a release. “It is a symbol of our heritage and of the transformation of our BEF Foods and Bob Evans Restaurants business. Most importantly, it’s focused on food, founders and farming form start to finish.”

A quartet of Rio Grande faculty was commissioned to provide artistic works for the 40-acre campus, which consists of three buildings and more than 175,000 square feet.

Associate Professor of Art Benjy Davies created a 6-foot by 18-foot triptych of paintings depicting the iconography of Bob Evans – from the signature Stetson hat worn by the founder, to the architecture and flora of the original farm in Rio Grande. The native Ohioan’s work, “Evans Essence,” brings the Bob Evans brand to life in a bright and vibrant display for all who visit the campus to enjoy.

“Joe Eulberg, who is Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Bob Evans, approached us about doing artwork for the new corporate headquarters,” said Davies, who teaches courses in graphic design and printmaking. “Joe is also on the Board of Trustees for the university.”

Fellow Professor of Art Kevin Lyles crafted stainless steel and 5 ½ ton of Ohio glacial stone into a 10-foot by 12-foot sculpture entitled “Farmland Forest.” Reminiscent of the hills and forests seen on the original Bob Evans farm adjacent to the university, the piece greets guests at the new corporate campus.

Fine Woodworking instructors Eric Matson and Mark Nelson produced multiple pieces for the campus, all crafted from Gallia County burr oak. The duo utilized a natural edge style to make six benches totaling 48 feet long, six saddle-seat stools and a 66-inch diameter table in the café.

“It was pretty cool to be a part of the new Bob Evans Farms corporate campus,” Matson said. “Mark and I worked about two months over the summer on the project.”