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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Student art invades campus

As part of a Fundamentals of Sculpture class project, guerilla artists hid 10 sculptures in the stairwells and trees of the Fine Arts Building.

Sculpture professor Paul Kittelson said the class decided to place the sculptures in the Fine Arts Building courtyard after a discussion about how the location of artwork affects the viewer’s impression.

"We were talking about how where you place a piece of art affects its meaning and how you perceive it, so by putting them in certain spaces it kind of affected how they were seen," Kittelson said.

When asked which sculpture caught his attention, sculpture senior Jeremy Haines said "Car Trash Treasures" by painting junior Jaimes Diederich and sculpture junior Annie Dmitriev.

"It’s definitely more interesting than what I’ve seen the fundamentals classes do in the previous semesters," Haines said.

Richard Mix, a sculpture graduate student and teaching assistant to Kittelson’s class joked about the piece.

"Two students put mustard all over their figure. It smelled. It smelled really bad. It was horrible, and I was repulsed by it," he said.

Music education sophomore Rolando Cruz jumped at the sight of "Han Solo," a cocoon-like figure duct-taped to the bottom of the fine arts spiral stairwell. "It made me jump. I needed to use the restroom," Cruz said with a laugh.

Despite the initial shock, Cruz and music education sophomore Kristin Spraberry enthusiastically decided to search for other sculptures hidden throughout the building.

"We’re going on a quest," Spraberry said.

Students worked with partners to cast their body parts out of chicken wire, molded the casts in paper mache and then covered the product with a material of their choice, using yarn, paint and duct tape.

"Tina the Tree-hugging Tranny" lurks behind a tree in the courtyard, while "Lady Libertine" by photography sophomore Monica Kressman hangs off the second-floor railway.

"Barrus Aurum Fin Animalia," by photography freshman Pam Cantu and art education graduate student Sara McKee, pokes its elephantine nose through the courtyard bars while "Performer" strides across a broken tree.

"The reptile skin camouflages well with the tree," said architecture sophomore Tanima Dutta, who created "Performer" with Zugey Garcial, art history sophomore.

The pieces shift locations and rotate in and out of the courtyard according to the artists’ discretion.

Photography junior Sapphire Williams chose to put her sculpture of a prostrated woman shooting a lewd gesture inside the classroom. Williams said she kept the piece in the classroom to "keep it away from the rain."

The Fine Arts building and South Park annex have always flirted with guerilla art, incorporating shadow paintings on the floor of the third level and a glitter-painted "No Smoking" sign on the first floor.

Sculpture students and graduates leave; complete projects and finished works of art in the South Park Annex, which Kittelson affectionately called a "laboratory of creativity."

"I think it’s good. We’re in the business of making art, so we ought to see how it’s done," Kittelson said. "It’s good that it’s out there for people to see."

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