Mobiles Add a Splash of Color to the Campus Center
Mobiles Add a Splash of Color to the Campus Center

As the fall sunlight streaks through a window in the Campus Center, bursts of color catch the eye in surprising locations.

"While they could have hung their pieces anywhere on campus, all six students in the Honors 3-D Design IV class chose the Campus Center, and collectively did so because they felt this was the building that gets the most traffic from all members of the community," explained Upper School art teacher Hilary Hutchison, Hon.

"I was inspired by nature, specifically leaves and vines," shared Josephine Buccini '21. "So, I chose to make abstract leaves with folded blue flowers."

The sculpture project was inspired by Boston artist Adria Arch, along with Henri Matisse and Alexander Calder. "I had the opportunity to see Adria Arch's work at the Cahoon Museum over the summer, where she had an installation of many works throughout the museum," said Ms. Hutchison. "Her work was hung in surprising locations throughout the museum, coming out of a fireplace, and hanging down a staircase, and I was interested in having the students create their mobiles for a particular location or site."

"I really just started playing with organic shapes that fit nicely together and ended up molding into a sphere," explained Eliza Aldridge '21.

The pieces are made from Bristol Board, a heavy-weight paper similar to poster board, that has been gessoed and painted. Some incorporate wire for shaping forms and fastening. Each piece hangs from fishing line.

"We spent one class period walking around to think about the sites for each piece. Lighting was talked about, like in the case with Josephine's vine. She had originally wanted to tack her piece directly on a wall and look like it was wrapping around a corner," said Ms. Hutchison. "Having it suspended from the ceiling, though, cast a beautiful shadow on the wall behind the piece, and it moves. I think this was a better solution for the work."

"Mine is in the hallway of the Campus Center on the second floor," said Josephine. "I chose this space because I wanted a place where a light would shine on my piece and create an intense shadow on the wall. The lights in that hallway worked perfectly."

The six beautifully-designed sculptures are installed in perfectly-placed locations, some creatively tucked away.

"My piece is hanging in the Campus Center, almost from the stairs and right in front of the theater," shared Eliza. "From the first floor, you have to look up to see my mobile, and I liked this location because I liked the idea of my piece really hanging with (seemingly) no wall support."

"This was a really fun project," shared Josephine. "Art is definitely my favorite subject. It's a fun class, but I wouldn't call it relaxing or a break because it is still challenging. A lot of people tell me that art must be a nice break. In my opinion at least, it's definitely not a break."

"I always find art class to be a nice part of my day, especially because the days have become so long, and there really is no free time," reflected Eliza.

"Making sculptural pieces is a much more physical experience than standing at an easel, so we all have to remember to distance as everyone is working on their pieces," said Ms. Hutchison. "The masks have to be worn, and since we all have been wearing masks for several months, it's the new normal. I miss seeing kids smiling, but this group is very comfortable with each other and from the conversation, it's pretty clear how everyone is feeling."