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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New Year, New Art

Sunflowers for Vincent
Sunflowers for Vincent

As you make your way into UMass Boston you might notice the newest sculpture to grace the campus. Located outside where the Integrated Science Building will stand, along the harbor walkway stands Sunflowers for Vincent.

Sunflowers for Vincent is a large painted steel piece by Mark di Suvero, a renowned contemporary American artist. Di Suvero is also the artist behind another large scale sculpture on display at UMass Boston entitled Huru, the large, rusted structure directly outside of the construction area that will be the Integrated Science Building.

The newest addition to the art collection on campus was installed Dec. 15. Sunflowers for Vincent is now a part of a varied assortment of art that is meant to “[…] highlight the remarkable things that go on at UMass Boston,” according to Professor Paul Tucker.

Along with being a professor, Tucker is also a part of Arts on the Point, the group that acquires the art that is displayed throughout the campus. “[…] By having pieces of sculpture outside,” Tucker continued, “People are going to see that there is a vitality there and it would hopefully open up doors for people to look further at the amazing things that [UMass Boston] offers.”

Tucker also said the di Suvero, in particular, is an artist who represents our school well because his art is primarily made of recycled materials and because he has overcome great adversity, among other reasons. Di Suvero was severely injured in a fright elevator accident and it was thought that he would never walk again. He recovered from the accident and now walks with the help of two canes. Despite all of that di Suvero went on to create large sculptures by hand like Huru and Sunflowers for Vincent.

While Art on the Point has the best intentions for the campus some of the work that they’ve brought to campus has been described as “puzzling.” A UMass Boston staff member, who requested that they remain anonymous, said, “Some of them look like lumps of rock or brightly colored pieces of metal. I don’t see what makes them so special.”

Tucker is not naive and realizes that it is impossible to please everyone with the art that is brought in. He in fact encourages counter points of views, “Art is all about conversation, discussion and debate.”

The varying tastes of the very diverse community at UMass Boston may help to explain the wide ranging sculptures that occupy different areas of the campus. From Luis Jiménez’s Los Lagartos to Willem de Kooning’s Reclining Figure, one certainly could not claim that there is not a wide array of art being displayed. “I’d like to think that the diversity of offerings by Arts on the Point represent not only the diversity in contemporary production but likewise that of our own campus,” explained Tucker.

Professor Tucker said, with a hint of pride, “We are extraordinarily lucky to have the works that we do have, many of which would be the envy of any museum.”

About the Contributor
Ariel Rodriguez served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Arts Editor: Fall 2011 *Music Editor: 2010-2011 *The position of music editor was developed in Fall 2010, and disappeared in Fall 2012. Elizabeth Dow served as music editor from 2011-2012.