By Nathan Schmidt
This fall, the many construction projects that have taken place on campus will be complemented by a new generation of art from construction by-products.
Gilbane Building Company, which is currently engaged in constructing the new Dolan School of Business nearby the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, has pledged to use its unused metal scrap to create an array of new outdoor sculptures for the campus. These sculptures will be donated free of charge, and the missed revenue from selling the scrap is expected to be compensated by not having to remove any of it from campus.
Many students on campus are familiar with the two abstract sculptures made of haphazard-looking steel girders, located in the vicinity of Gonzaga and Canisius Halls. “Vee I,” painted solid red, and “Cross V,” painted solid yellow, were donated to the university in 1982 and 1984 respectively by New York artist Larry Mohr — the former to commemorate Catholics who helped Jews during the Holocaust, and the latter presumably to make sure students knew the sculptures were there on purpose.
Inspired by Mohr’s creative usage of raw materials, Gilbane has decided to fabricate fifteen more sculptures of a similar nature, painted in colors ranging from indigo to chartreuse, and place them in hard-to-find but rewarding locations between various buildings on the quad.
Reaction from Fairfield students to Gilbane’s new pledge has ranged from mostly indifferent bemusement to smug artistic pride.
Nolan Brogue ‘22 is quoted as replying, “Isn’t the Gilbane some kind of dive bar?” while Marianne Redwood ‘20 answered with, “I feel like this art really conveys Gilbane’s understanding of the human condition through didactic messaging in non-representational form.”
Whatever the case, most students are sure to forget about the new sculptures within a week or two of their installation, so Gilbane plans to follow them up with several new exhibitions made of broken glass.