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The Vermont Cynic

UVM Expands Outdoor Sculpture Collection

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UVM faculty are working together in order to incorporate art into the daily lives of students.

The project to expand UVM’s outdoor sculpture collection is an initiative of University President Tom Sullivan, who is working together with Janie Cohen, director of the Fleming Museum, as well as art department faculty.

The project will be completed in spring 2017, Cohen said.

Sullivan was previously provost at the University of Minnesota, she said, which has an expansive outdoor sculpture collection.sculpture_web

“He saw what this could do for a campus,” Cohen said. “It’s a way of beautifying.”

UVM has had a public art collection since the 19th century, but is currently adding some more contemporary works.

“When you go to a museum you’re expecting to see artwork,” she said, “but when you encounter it outdoors when you’re least expecting, it can be a really wonderful experience. There is kind of a surprise element to it.”

There are already several new pieces by UVM alumni and parents installed around campus. Some are gifts and some are temporary loans, Cohen said.

“We want an aesthetically and conceptually diverse group that will create different experiences for people,” she said.

“Unlocked” by Christopher Curtis ‘77, located on the Waterman green, was installed over the summer. The piece is a granite boulder with a puzzle piece cut into it.

“Students have already been seen sitting and studying together around this piece which makes us very happy,” Cohen said. “It’s in a beautiful, protected area with trees all around it.”

The most recently installed piece is “Sparkle Pony” by Kat Clear ’01, which is an artificial topiary version of a My Little Pony rocking horse.

It is located on the green between the Bailey/Howe Library and the Davis Center. It doesn’t rock, but the artist intended for people to sit on it,  she said.

The new works have already sparked some students’ imaginations.

“I want to sit on it,” sophomore Caroline Sheehan said. “It reminds me of a topiary in a palace.”

In front of the Davis Center is “Flukes” by Gordon Gund, the father of a UVM student. The piece represents the concave and convex sections of a whale’s tale.

Cohen and Sullivan are currently working with artist Lars Fisk to borrow a work by him for three years. Lars is the artist who created “Barn Ball”, located in the Fleming’s main lobby.

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
UVM Expands Outdoor Sculpture Collection