Construction of a new art sculpture is complete


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Construction of the UCR’s first art sculpture is officially complete. The sculpture, titled “a circular sculpture about utility among other things,” was designed by San Diego-based artist Roy McMakin.

The McMakin piece, which is made up of tall yellow poles that display the words “Things Change” and “Change Things”, is meant to highlight the use of multiple mediums to engage the campus community in interacting with the art culturally, physically and visually. , according to Jason Espinoza, project manager at the Office of Planning, Design and Construction. The transformative reuse of the landscape into an interactive art exhibit is an attempt to illustrate the university’s commitment to the city of Riverside’s concept of art and innovation, Espinoza said. Espinoza also said that the UCR arts department intends to include artwork in front of the arts building.

The installation aimed to capture a dynamic visual connecting the experience of commuters and pedestrians on campus. The intent of the piece was to enhance the students’ experience by exposing them to creative expressions from diverse perspectives. The goal was also to encourage the campus community to uniquely interact with public spaces.

According to Espinoza, interest in this project was sparked more than 11 years ago with Jim Isermann, an art professor and sculptor at UCR. Isermann suggested adding this piece shortly after CHASS was built because he wanted to “create a place to stop on this road and make sense of the chaotic driveways and mismatched concrete benches.”

Isuru Karunatilleka // HIGHLANDER

In 2008, the project’s wheels began to turn when Timothy White, UCR’s chancellor between 2008 and 2012, met with the Campus Art Advisory Committee (ACCA) headed by Isermann. Espinoza noted that during his tenure as Chancellor of UCR, White decided to invest in an arts project that would improve “intellectual connectivity within a diverse academic community.”

Espinoza explained that funding for this project was established in 2009 and was $1 million, but has since increased due to economic conditions. Still, the project team managed to stay within the original budget and all costs were covered by the chancellor.

The Highlander interviewed Katie Cunha, a third-year media and cultural studies student. Cunha said she thought the room was “ugly and confusing” and wished the UCR had used the funding to transform the “brown, old and dusty” building into something more “artistic”. She went on to say that she could see “arts students doing something better for free.”

Zaina Ali, a first-year art major, said in an interview with The Highlander, “In an institution where things never seem to change, or are not allowed to change in the hands of students, the signs are ironic and sound more like a mockery of what we can’t do than a motivation for what we could do.

Mildred D. Field