Happy 40th Birthday to the Stuart Art Collection! vs What Even Are All These Weird Pieces of Art?

ArticlesOpinionPoint - Counter Point

Written by: Kita Barrientos

By Kanish Apoor
Enthusiast of the Abstract

POINT: Happy 40th Birthday to the Stuart Art Collection!

Have you ever been on an amble through campus when you have stumbled upon a curious, nay, beautiful, nay… beguilingly exquisite sculpture? A humbly carved bear perhaps? Or a tantalizing shoe of vibrant red? Or maybe you have stopped and stared, utterly stunned, at the baby blue house so precariously perched atop the Jacobs School of Engineering? I know I have.

You can thank the curators and artists of the amazing Stuart Art Collection, which has just passed its 40th birthday! Now I know what you are thinking: all of these artworks are so incredible and wonderfully varied and gosh, I wish I could look at them all at once to take in the full breadth of their magnificence. But you see, my friend, that is the beauty of the Stuart Art Collection. Their dispersal around our gorgeous campus allows you to take in not only the wonders of the art, but also their seamless integration into the natural world of UC San Diego. Like an untouched gem amidst the verdant throng of the wilds, all of these works offer a stunning moment of awe and inspiration to the weary heart. 

Fear not your midterm results when you rest upon the cool stone of the La Jolla Project (or, as some so crudely refer to it, “Stonehenge”). Do not dwell on the unwieldy size of your BILD 2 section and marvel instead at the towering grandiosity that is What Hath God Wrought. Surely, as you sit under the graceful serenity of our beloved Sun God, you will forget your measly troubles and bask in the creative genius that has blessed our acclaimed university.

By Aigham Solost
Novice Granite Interpreter

COUNTERPOINT: What Even Are All These Weird Pieces of Art?

One day, I was sitting on one of those big stone benches on South Lawn, having an existential crisis while staring off at the ocean. A student came by and just kinda stood there, gazing intently at the benches. I looked down too and for the first time I realized there were, like, carved letters in them. Dude told me it was a poem or something, but I didn’t really buy it. I mean, they’re just rocks in the middle of a field. 

Another time I was walking home, through the eucalyptus grove outside Eighth, and I heard these creepy humming sounds all around me. One of the theater kids near there told me it was some art installation and that the sounds come from speakers hung up in the trees. They pointed back into the grove where I saw this tall red sculpture, sorta shaped like a shoe. They told me that was a piece of art too. There’s a bunch of caution tape around it and like, is that part of the art…? Seriously, I can’t tell. 

Eventually I decided to look into this stuff and found out that there’s a ton of these art pieces all around campus! You know that big clock mural in Price? That’s one of ’em too! I just thought that was a convenient reminder while I stand in line to microwave my pasta of how precious time is and how I’m wasting it writing papers for MMW… 

I’ve been here for four years and only now do I know what the hell these things are. Most people walking around here barely even look up at all, much less stop and stare at a random sculpture. I’m sure that kid who almost ran me down with a SPIN scooter the other day isn’t noticing those blue fence things — but he’s for sure going to notice when he rides over the word bricks by the trolley station though. That shit hurts. 

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