Studentsí sculptures on display at SSU
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By Natalie Gray   May 10, 2013 12:00 am

With graduation only a few days away, members of Sonoma State University were working hard to make the commencement ceremony a beautiful one for the Class of 2013, but perhaps none as much as the students of Jann Nunn’s beginning sculpting class.

The 20 students of the class each crafted personal sculptures that are now scattered about the campus to be on public display through Sunday, May 12, the day after commencement. According to Nunn, sculpture professor, maps of the pieces’ locations will be handed out during the commencement ceremonies, inviting family, friends and graduates to explore the campus and view the student artwork.

“I felt compelled to do it this year because I know people really appreciate seeing all the art and enjoy it,” said Nunn. She added her beginning sculpting class has been creating statues for graduation for the past six years.

A public reception was held late in the afternoon last Tuesday, giving artists the chance to show and explain their work. The sculptures were laid across the entirety of the school, some in plain sight, such as before the library entrance, others tucked 

away, submerged in the foliage of the Butterfly Garden.

According to Nunn, the students work all semester long creating their pieces. The class itself is open to students of all majors and grades, which gives a clear and sharp difference to each work of art to reflect the differences of each student.

“Everybody in the class has a different vision,” said Nunn, “and I think it is very important to pull that vision out and I think we see that in the art.”

The differences in the students were indeed apparent in the art. Some students, namely those who were not art majors, really incorporated their majors into their pieces. Such examples included “Keep on Loving,” by Kinesiology senior, Allison Kehrli, who crafted a line of anatomical hearts to showcase her love of her education. Another notable piece that was born from the love education was “KinEdus,” a piece that literally moved and morphed when cranked, by Darin DuVander, education graduate. According to DuVander, he is an advocate of “hands-on” teaching and tried to incorporate that into his work by having his art also be hands-on.

The pieces that were not directly influenced by education seemed to have a common theme, though each unique to every piece. Elements of nature was a prevalent image throughout the art, such as in Art Studio senior, Sarah Davis’ “I’m so lonesome for you, Darling,” a piece that incorporated flesh-toned fabric weaved through the limbs of a tree, combining the structure of the tree with human elements.

“My favorite was ‘Tentacles,’ because of its rhythmic flow and how it stands out among the rest,” said SSU freshman Mary-Madison Baldo. “Tentacles,” by Alex Frazer was an earthy piece created of small ceramic bowels strung on steel.

Unfortunately for some of the artists, some sculptures have been recently vandalized. According to Nunn, three different pieces were vandalized over the weekend, which lead to quick remodeling, quick fix-it jobs and relocating. Art Studio senior Shella Pimental, who said her piece was well anchored to the ground, created one of the damaged pieces. According to Pimental, someone would have had to work hard and deliberately to topple over her sculpture, as was done.

“It’s really disheartening,” Nunn said. “Whenever you put work out in public you risk it, but it’s still troubling. They’re works of art and beautiful. Students put a lot of time and emotion into these and it feels like a personal attack when they’re vandalized.”

The vandalism has done little to ruin the display, though. All art has been resorted and is still on public display, still inviting any one to come look at them.

The artwork will be on display throughout Sonoma State until May 12. Maps with the location of the work, as well as titles and artists’ names, can be found at the graduation commencement on May 11 or online at SSU’s webpage. 

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