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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

After 15 Years, the “Huru” Sculpture Comes Down and Heads to Exhibition in San Francisco


“Huru” came down on April 24 after standing since Dec. 1997.



After 15 years, the six ton steel sculpture known as “Huru,” which stood at UMass Boston’s entrance in front of the new Integrated Sciences Complex, will no longer be there.

“Huru” means both “hello” and “goodbye” in an aboriginal Australian language. The sculptor’s steel beams look like extended arms that can be moved by wind. The movement is meant to resemble someone waving hello or goodbye.

“It felt very strange and very sad,” said Professor Paul Tucker, describing how he felt as he drove in and didn’t see the sculpture there to greet him.

“It’s a big temporary loss. It’s a work by a major international figure, and it’s really one of his best works,” said Tucker. The sculpture is moving to a major outdoor exhibition in San Francisco, where it will be one of several pieces by the artist, Mark di Suvero.

Tucker has a special place in his heart for the sculpture. In 1997, Tucker started Arts on the Point, a program designed to bring works by important sculptors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to UMass Boston.

“Huru” was the first piece Arts on the Point exhibited and the piece was created by world famous sculptor Mark di Suvero. Suvero, who has pieces on display in sculpture parks, universities, and museums around the world, was the first person Tucker approached.

“I went to a studio in Long Island, New York. We [Tucker and Suvero] talked about it, [Huru] and the piece had been standing here at Storm King [Art Center] for 10 years, and it had been taken down, and we said, ‘well, let’s bring it over here to Boston,’ and over it came,” said Tucker.

Over its 15 year sojourn, one of Tucker’s favorite memories about the piece came from two UMass Boston employees.

“One guy from the grounds department said, ‘We should paint that thing,’ and the other guy said, ‘nature is painting it,’” said Tucker.

Tucker may be in the minority when it comes to missing “Huru,” as most students The Mass Media asked had no clue about where or what the sculpture was. Other students are quoted as saying, “It was ugly, good riddance,” and “I never really got it, so I guess I won’t miss it.”

Tucker can understand these assertions.

“Not everybody likes it, and I understand that, but it really…I think it can grow on one. It is poetic and sensitive, just as it is tough and muscular. It’s kind of raw,” said Tucker.

“When you go up and really look at the steel, it’s unbelievably beautiful in terms of the colors. These purples and beiges and browns and grays. I mean, just gorgeous,” said Tucker.

Unfortunately, UMass Boston students will never get to take a closer look at the piece now. Or will they?

“Huru could come back after its exhibition in San Francisco,” said Tucker. How fitting for the piece whose name means “hello” and “goodbye.”