LETTER: Sculptures need rearranging
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 13:01
To the editor:
Last November, I noticed something horrible had happened. There the new grass in front of the Ag building was minding its own business doing what it does best — photosynthesis — when suddenly, without warning, a giant dollop of white mass landed in front of the Ag building as if from Utah’s largest seagull. At first I dismissed it as nothing, until I realized that seagulls weren’t hanging around in November. Then it became known to me that this was “a work of art.” My mistake, so I carried on.
Don’t get me wrong, I love art. Many of my closest acquaintances are within the College of the Arts, and I happen to consider myself an artistic person. However, it would seem that the majority of my fellow students within the College of Agriculture are not quite as appreciative as I am. One thing is for certain, it definitely has an effect on the mind of the viewer. What went through most of the Ag students’ heads when they saw it were definitely “whispers in silence” and bewilderment. Most of them reflected on the art piece with profound questions like “What the shell is that?” or “Is that supposed to be a sideways horse’s hind end?” and many other colorful questions that should not be printed in a family-friendly news column. Some words may have been edited from the original quotes. We’re dealing with cowboy language. In one class, a professor took a poll as to what the sculpture looks like most. The options were toothpaste, a cloud, or Angelina Jolie’s lips.
The truth is, it really is an impressive piece of art, but the audience that has been chosen is the wrong one. The majority of Ag students — I’m not going to say all, because there are several granola, animal-loving hippies in our college, and we welcome you — just don’t really “get” art, and a crash course education such as this one isn’t the best segue to obtain open-mindedness about art. Start slowly. Speak slowly too, if they’re some hick from Tooele County. Such art, like the bronze display just a few yards away, has shapes and curves that are familiar to them. Then you can ramp it up to other things, like the sculptures of the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, which are shapes they understand and sparks an emotion within them — many Ag students are deeply patriotic. Then you can move on to other things, like the hands embracing to the south of the TSC. That’s open to interpretation, and suddenly step by step art starts to take on meaning. When I say step by step, I literally mean I want the weird art to start as you get farther and farther away from the Ag building.
I don’t mean to disrespect Professor Ryoichi Suzuki and any of the art students who helped. I’m sure they are very proud of their work. I know every art student sees the entire campus as their canvas, but to be honest, it isn’t going to get fully appreciated all over campus. Nobody fully understands the “crashed helicopter” or “the French Fries” in front of the library either, least of all the Ag students. Sure, we may take over campus with our displays during Ag Week, and there may be an occasional cow on the Quad for reasons only beknownst to us, but at least we move the tractors off campus once Ag week is over.