Monday, June 27, 2011

UConn Dedication

Today I enjoyed the privilege of seeing a project I worked on come to its conclusion. Way back in 2006, I became part of the committee to select an artwork for the UConn-Waterbury campus. (At the time, I was teaching Art History and Art Appreciation there (I wish I still was!), which is how I wound up on the committee.) Today, the University dedicated the completed artwork and surrounding courtyard.

People mingling before the ceremony.

The sculpture incorporates metal and water, both symbolic of Waterbury. The artist, Barton Rubenstein, sees the different tall sculptural elements as being also symbolic of the UConn students.

Barton Rubenstein's Synergy, without the water feature turned on.

The weather was perfect--so glad the rainy weather finally went away!

It was nice to see many people I know at the event. There were quite a few people present. Many were headed across the street afterwards for the Osher fundraiser event at the Palace Theater. The Osher Life Long Institute program is a real asset for Waterbury, as is UConn itself.

When I taught at UConn-Waterbury, I started every semester by challenging my students to think about what is art. I took them to view the courtyard and asked them if they could identify the tromp l'oeil (fool the eye)"artwork" in front of them. Can you see it in the photo below?

Barton Rubenstein speaking in front of his sculpture, Synergy.

The retaining wall in the back of the courtyard, which looks like a natural rock wall, is actually a concrete wall shaped and colored to look like rock. It's not intended to be seen as an artwork--in fact, it is successful only if the viewer takes for granted that it's natural rather than entirely man-made. It's great for getting my students to start thinking about the definition of art.

Back to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.... speeches were given by Bill Pizzuto, Executive Director of the Waterbury campus, Joan Hartley, State Senator for the 15th District, and Susan Herbst, the new President of UConn.

After the ribbon-cutting, the waterfall portion of the sculpture was turned on. It's a great artwork, well-worth visiting, and a great addition to the courtyard.

1 comment: said...

It was a great event. The fountain is quite stunning. The courtyard is such a nice addition to downtown and a good spot for people in the area to come and relax.

Stuart Brown
Director of Student Services
Waterbury Campus