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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Spotlight in Arts: “Sunflowers for Vincent”

Sunflowers for Vincent” is the giant yellow sculpture that’s near the Integrated Science Complex (ISC) by the water on campus. The artist is named Mark di Suvero and he created the sculpture in 1983, but UMass Boston didn’t get acquisition of it until 2011.

“Sunflowers for Vincent” is a part of UMass Boston’s program “Arts on the point”. Suvero created this piece in honor of world famous artist Vincent Van Gogh. It’s made out of steel and painted a bright yellow color, a nod to Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings. This sculpture is composed of industrial steel supplies that have been salvaged and repurposed, as much of Suvero’s work is. One of the full pieces it is composed of is from a ship’s propellor, and the other pieces are scraps that were hand cut and molded together by Suvero.

I went to take a look at this piece of art that in my opinion is poorly placed at UMass, as it is not something that many people would pass by and actually be able to take a good look at it. Driving by, you have no idea what it is or who created it and the only reason you would find out is if you have a genuine interest or curiosity about the piece. When I got to the sculpture, I was disappointed to see that it was not cared for as it should be. There were old, moldy gloves left by someone who must’ve worked on the landscape nearby laying on it. Old, cut grass laid on top of the sculpture along with dust, dirt and rust. Of course, anyone can understand weather will naturally deteriorate art that’s left outside. However, it is apparent that no care has been given specifically to this piece recently to preserve its original form which is a waste of funding. If we can’t properly care for the art we have on campus, we might as well not spend the University money on it. According to the UMass Boston website, “Sculptures are on long-term loan to the university; private donors fund the initiative”. This is a good thing for students that it’s being privately funded, but still not something to be celebrated as we can use the funding further for upkeep or something that the student population can see and appreciate while on campus (rather than something we pass by on the shuttle each day).
This structure is an important piece of art that we have on our campus, and we are very lucky for it. Because of this, it’s placement and upkeep should be considered. Having accessibility to art starts an inspiration for creativity and could add to our diversified learning experience on campus as students. The more we see these types of work, the more understanding and appreciation we can build for it. If you’re looking for something new and interesting to do/see on campus, go take a walk down the Harbor and visit ”Sunflowers for Vincent” to pay tribute to the great art we have surrounding us on campus!

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief