Students install art around campus

Laura Hood, senior film studies major. "Family Tree Bonds." Located in a tree near the Richlyn Library.
Matthew Craig, senior film production major. “Cameraman’s Best Friend.” Located on the steps of Becker Hall.
Paige Selby, freshman theater performance major. "Inner Beauty." Located in a tree near the Richlyn Library.
Rachel Ellis, freshman theater design and technology major. "Life's Parameters." Located in a tree near Loew-Brenn Hall.
Taylin Halderman, freshman theater design and technology major. "Recycle." Located in a tree near the Richlyn Library.

HUNTINGTON, Ind.— With gaff tape, Mountain Dew cans and some string, five Huntington University students created art on campus. It’s not anything they expect to last long, but that was not the point of this class assignment. The point is the transformation of that art over time.

Students in the theater department’s Fundamentals of Design class created pieces that are currently situated in trees and on steps around campus — at least for the time being, barring no new weather pattern or outside tampering.

“The project is something we have been building up to over the course of the past four weeks through watching a video by Andy Goldsworthy, a famous installation artist who is still working regularly,” said Jonathan Hicks, assistant professor of theater. “Each student is exploring how art can communicate to a campus through different elements of life that are important to them.”

Pieces range from “Recycle” which is Mountain Dew cans hanging from a tree in front of the library to “Cameraman’s Best Friend” which is a foam dog on the steps of Becker Hall.

“It’s a token of appreciation for (a friend who inspired me),” said senior Matthew Craig, creator of the dog.

While this may seem like trash, each piece signifies a deep meaning for the students.

“I wanted to do something that depicts inner beauty in us,” said freshman Paige Selby of her piece, “Inner Beauty,” which is gold painted leaves on the underside of a tree by the library.

And the Mountain Dew cans?

“I wanted to incorporate two things that make the world turn — trees and products that are manmade,” said freshman Taylin Halderman of his work, “Recycle.”

The next step in the process is to document the decay of each piece whether destroyed by rain or dropped from a tree through the course of nature, and then reflect on its meaning.

“It’s been fun,” said freshman Rachel Ellis, “challenging at times.”

“I loved it,” added senior Laura Hood. “I learned a lot. I got to know the tree really well and appreciate the tree.”

Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest, and has listed the university as one of America’s Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review has named the institution to its “Best in the Midwest” list. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).


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