A new sculpture called “Forest of the Mind” graces the campus landscape thanks to art professor Scott Fuller, who created and donated the organic-looking piece to the college.
Fuller’s inspiration began with a photograph of dried echinacea vines lying on his kitchen windowsill. To ultimately form the sculpture, he manipulated the image extensively in Photoshop and transferred it onto a piece of thin stainless steel, which he then cut with a laser to create silhouetted organic shapes. The last part of the process was getting the intricate piece mounted on a granite column to display it at a height of 8 feet – with much hands-on support and cooperation from the facilities department.
“I am intrigued by the relationship between the digital photographic process and sculpture. The industrial laser cutting technology allows me to combine an organic visual structure with metal,” says Fuller, who often works with natural and renewable elements. “Forest of the Mind” maintains a fluid, animate look, and its shiny surface reflects the light and colors of the seasons.
Occupying the small triangular space in front of the distinctly unadorned service building, the sculpture lifts that corner of campus visually. Lighting will be installed for dramatic nighttime viewing, and Fuller ultimately envisions the area with benches to create a focal point around the sculpture.
Fine arts major Andrew Mockler ’12 of Saco, Maine, says the play of, and combination of, nature and man-made industrial material makes a strong environmental statement. “Overall, I enjoy the piece,” he says. “I and others in the art department are really excited to have artwork displayed permanently on campus,” he adds.
Philosophy professor Sister Patricia Flynn, RSM, Ph.D., says she appreciates the beauty of the sculpture and how it brings a different sense to the campus itself. “The presence of the sculpture makes the campus ‘feel’ more like a college campus to me,” she says. “I think that outdoor sculpture is particularly important, since we can ‘live’ with it, day in and day out, in all kinds of weather and contemplate how the seasons change both us and the artwork.”
Fuller says he wants to find ways for people to invest in sculpture for the campus. “There are so many great places for sculpture here,” he adds.