A 12-foot bronze sculpture rose was set in place outside Sonoma State University's Green Music Center box office Thursday, the latest step in a long-term campus art project.

"We've been talking about this for a number of years now so it's been exciting, gratifying, kind of amazing that all this discussion is turning into reality," said Michael Schwager, a Sonoma State University art historian.

He spoke as workers prepared the base for a bronze sculpture by Stephen De Staebler, a nationally known Bay Area artist who died last year.

The piece, titled "Winged Figure Ascending, 2011," is on long-term loan from De Staebler's estate. Another work by the artist is to be placed in the concert hall's lobby.

"Our intention has always been to place sculpture and other forms of art around the Sonoma State campus. This is a perfect catalyst to get that going," said Schwager, who also directs the SSU art gallery.

Two other significant art works have already been installed at the music center: Bruce Johnson's "Asia," a Stonehenge-like gateway of redwood timbers, and Robert Ellison's "Bar Note Bench."