Katherine Anson: November 2011 Archives

Installation description courtesy of Sarah Mendelsohn, AB’12

The most recent art installation in the Young Building foyer showcases abstract sculptures, created by students Sarah Mendelsohn (AB’12) and Fred Schmidt-Arenales (AB’13), in recognition of the collaboration between the University of Chicago Office of Sustainability and Blackstone Bicycle Works.

Scrapped bike parts collected from the trash bins of Blackstone Bicycle Works provided both the structural and narrative foundation for these three sculptures. The parts collected and assembled represent the bottom of the barrel: bent forks and locks rusted shut, blunt cogs and defunct brake cables. The state of these broken and abandoned pieces prompts a material investigation of leftover parts. Hanging produce scales found in supermarkets provide visual references for the evolution of the sculptures: the scale serves as a pliable metaphor for talking about re-use, for measuring or weighing the value of what can be recycled. The walnut and Brazil nut shells represent another kind of leftover. Cemented within the lower masses of each sculpture, the nutshells playfully gesture towards the theme of refuse.

This installation speaks to the University’s shifting culture around cycling, as well as its increasing awareness around sustainability in general. Feel free to pop into the Young Building to check out the latest art exhibit!

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Too many tomatoes: Winterizing Avant Garden

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On a recent Wednesday morning, 14 avid gardeners worked in the chilly sunshine to winterize Avant Garden. The first step was to harvest the last of the veggies. In addition to tomatillos, peppers, green beans, chard, and kale, the gardeners plucked at least two huge bushels of green tomatoes! Many of these tomatoes were taken by staff from Smart Museum, Facilities Services and Court Theatre to make fried green tomatoes or green tomato muffins, while the remainder were used to decorate the 3rd floor kitchen of the Young building as they ripened.

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Following the harvest, gardeners tested their strength by pulling annual plants up by the roots. This often proved difficult, as the plants had established fairly extensive root systems over the summer. The University’s Grounds Crew picked up the massive pile of plants for composting.

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The third step of winterizing Avant Garden involved mulching the beds with a combination of soil and horse manure. Volunteers used rakes to turn the beds with the nutrient-rich soil.

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The final step was to clear the pathways and perimeter fencing of leaves and debris. After several hours, Avant Garden is now spruced up and ready for the winter! A successful pilot program, gardeners will be surveyed to evaluate and improve on Avant Garden next year. If interested in participating in the Avant Garden, please email Katie.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Katherine Anson in November 2011.

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