[singlepic id=1333 w=320 h=240 float=right]Sam Norton

A&E Editor


Art is not something that can be easily sculpted—it requires a plan of action, one that allows the artist to explore their artistic boundaries. In Assistant Professor of Art Lynn Richardson’s sculpture class, one’s perception of art is tested.

For the class, students worked in pairs to create a sculpture that defined the word “shelter.” Shelter is defined as something that provides cover or protection, or is a refuge or haven.

“I gave them the word ‘shelter’ and they were supposed to pick anything inside that definition of shelter—so the textbook definition is something that protects or defends,” Richardson said.

The only guideline that the students had to adhere to was that they were not allowed to build something that possessed four sides like a house, Richardson explained. This allows the students to explore content in a different way, Richardson said.

For senior Andrew Lindner, his job working with the IT department and his computer science major served as his source of inspiration for his piece. Lindner, who worked with Raul Carpenter, created a home of technology. Together, Lindner and Carpenter were able to create a desktop tower that was made from wood, recycled electronics and dry wall.

Richardson said that Lindner and Carpenter’s sculpture represents how technology has started to invade our personal space.

The structure, which is four by eight feet, stands next to the Sculpture Studio,  located behind the Mason Library.

The students, who began working on their sculpture during the second week of classes, were able to work with donated materials to help sculpt their vision.

However, for some of the students, creating a piece of such a large scale was one of the struggles they encountered throughout the project. “Working on that kind of scale, it takes a lot of work and a few days to cover such a large surface,” Richardson said.

“I started with getting the idea of how big we were going to make this,” Lindner said.

Once Lindner obtained an idea of the correct dimensions, he was able to piece his sculpture together piece by piece.

For junior Jessica Berthiaume, playing with proportions was what helped her get her start. Berthiaume worked with Ian Frederick to design a hot air ballon.

This hot air balloon, which represents one’s ability to float away from danger, stands outside the Spaulding Gymnasium suspended from a tree. “We started brainstorming different ideas and one of them was a hot air balloon, so we started with that,” Berthiaume said.

The balloon is comprised of metal on the sides, chicken wire on top, while the waves are made out of linoleum pieces, and the bottom is made up of a recycled outdoor rug, Berthiaume explained.

Frederick said that their design of the hot air balloon was a balance of the “homey” and safe feel that Professor Richardson was searching for.

Getting what they thought was a good proportion to the basket and the circle and then laying it out to the correct size was the hardest part, Frederick said.

The hot air balloon had to possess the correct, exact measurement, or else it would not be able to suspend from the tree.

“We had a size of four feet and the professor wanted it a lot bigger,” Frederick commented.

“It was hard because we couldn’t stand it up until the end,” Berthiaume explained, “It would cave in if we didn’t hang it from the tree.”

However, even though this project was time consuming, it was an educational experience for the students. Berthiaume, who is a graphic design major, is used to drawing in 2-D.

“I’ve never had a class that is 3-D, all of it is drawing or 2-D. It is definitely different, but I like it,” Berthiaume said.

For these students, this sculpture project not only taught them how to create a piece on a larger scale, but it also taught the students to be aware of the content they are making.

“As soon as you build something that goes out on the campus, it’s in the public realm. It teaches them to be responsible for their content and to be sensitive to certain issues. It is their name that is attached to their artwork so any questions that arise, they are responsible for it,” Richardson said.

While this medium of art is one that most students are not familiar working with, it teaches them to dream big and how to sculpt an image that portrays their creativity.


Sam Norton can be contacted at





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