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New campus sculpture: organic meets metallic

A newsculpture called “Forest of the Mind” graces the campus landscape thanks to artprofessor Scott Fuller, who created and donated the organic-looking piece tothe college.

Fuller’sinspiration began with a photograph of dried echinacea vines lying on hiskitchen windowsill. To ultimately form the sculpture, he manipulated the imageextensively in Photoshop and transferred it onto a piece of thin stainlesssteel, which he then cut with a laser to create silhouetted organic shapes. Thelast part of the process was getting the intricate piece mounted on a granitecolumn to display it at a height of 8 feet – with much hands-on support andcooperation from the facilities department.

“I amintrigued by the relationship between the digital photographic process andsculpture. The industrial laser cutting technology allows me to combine anorganic visual structure with metal,” says Fuller, who often works with naturaland renewable elements. “Forest of the Mind” maintains a fluid, animate look,and its shiny surface reflects the light and colors of the seasons.

Occupyingthe small triangular space in front of the distinctly unadorned servicebuilding, the sculpture lifts that corner of campus visually. Lighting will beinstalled for dramatic nighttime viewing, and Fuller ultimately envisions thearea with benches to create a focal point around the sculpture.

Fine artsmajor 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 arereally excited to have artwork displayed permanently on campus,” he adds.

Philosophyprofessor Sister Patricia Flynn, RSM, Ph.D., says she appreciates the beauty ofthe sculpture and how it brings a different sense to the campus itself. “Thepresence of the sculpture makes the campus ‘feel’ more like a college campus tome,” she says. “I think that outdoor sculpture is particularly important, sincewe can ‘live’ with it, day in and day out, in all kinds of weather and contemplatehow the seasons change both us and the artwork.”

Fuller says he wants to find ways for people toinvest in sculpture for the campus. “There are so many great places forsculpture here,” he adds.