Arts and Architecture
Twenty-eight students in Arts Professor Larry Kagan’s Advanced Sculpture class and Clinical Associate Professor of Architecture Michael Oatman’s Extreme Drawing class spent the spring semester collaborating on a public art project that was installed on campus this May.
Called “Grassland,” the installation features 375 six-foot-tall bi-color cloth “blades of grass” that will stay up for the duration of the summer as a visible representation of the connection between Rensselaer’s Arts Department in West Hall and the forthcoming Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC).
The final project was chosen from preliminary proposals developed by four interdisciplinary student teams that focused on broad themes of the classical elements earth, air, fire, and water.
The class itself was a “real experiment,” according to Oatman, who noted that this was the first major cooperative effort between an art and architecture class in many years.
“Collaboration is wonderful in theory, but often challenging in practice. The students took risks and there were hundreds of ideas kicked around, and we got a strong final result,” he says.