Art Across Campus: The Gourds
In 1966, the Board of Regents and former President Philip Hoffman voted to dedicate one percent of the cost of all future building projects to art, making UH the first state institution to establish a percent for an art program.
The most recent addition to campus resides outside Calhoun Lofts: A sculpture grouping of three gourds by Australian artist Lawrence Argent. The pieces were installed in early 2011.
“The gourd is an inherently universal thing,” Michael Guidry, curator of the University Public Art Collection, explained. “Everybody knows what a gourd is. (Argent) liked that universality about them. He liked the idea of working with an object that was open-ended, something that a lot of people have a reference to.”
Argent created 12-inch models of the pieces using three-D modeling software and sent these to the company in China responsible for the project’s fabrication.
“They look like they’re machine-made, but they were all done by hand. It’s a beautiful piece,” he said. “It’s funny and elegant and quirky all at the same time.”