Nails' Tales - CODAworx

Nails’ Tales

Client: Wisconsin Public Art

Location: Madison, WI, United States

Completion date: 2005

Project Team


Donald Lipski

Project Manager

John Grant


For the Camp Randall Stadium at the the University of Wisconsin, Madison, artist and alum Donald Lipski designed a 50′ tall obelisk that takes the form of a giant limestone block which is eroding into a pile of footballs. The base of the sculpture is limestone and the obelisk shape is made of gel-coated fiberglass that mimics the look of stone. Lipski received a BA in American History from the University of Wisconsin in 1970. His time there was years of anti-war activism, as chronicled in the wonderful David Maraniss book They Marched into Sunlight, and the movie The War at Home. Nails’ Tales was named for Lipski’s college roommate Eric “Nails” Nathan, who continues to keep Lipski up to date with news about the Badger football team.


Nails' Tales served as a gateway to the Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin.


This monumental sculpture was fabricated by The FAST Corp. of Sparta, Wisconsin. Public Art Services provided the following services: Design coordination, Budget management, Engineering coordination and oversight, Fabrication oversight, Lighting design development, Shipping, Installation services, Scheduling, Project close-out.

Additional Information

Over the years there has been some controversy surrounding the sculpture and in August 2019 the sculpture was removed and put into storage to allow for the redesign of the UW Field House South Plaza. The University has promised to work with Lipski to find a new site for the artwork on campus. Lipski is optimistic that this will all have a happy ending.