Carnegie Mellon University Showcases Art Installations

This spring, Carnegie Mellon University saw the installation of several new works of art, adding to the university’s history of encouraging and showcasing artistic expression by those from all walks of campus life. They  join the collected works woven into the CMU campus experience.

’In the Footsteps of a Stranger’

On the third floor of CMU’s Posner Hall, st udents, faculty and staff can find themselves "In the Footsteps of a Stranger." Created by Angelica Bonilla "A.B." Fominaya (BCSA 2023), the artwork was commissioned by CMU’s  Department of Languages, Cultures & Applied Linguistics as part of the Center for the Arts in Society’s  Hospitality Initiative.

"Small interactions can create big impacts, and our responsibility as human beings is to realize that we’re not the only ones out there," she said. Through her art, Fominaya embodies this ethos, inviting us to embrace hospitality and kindness as guiding principles in our interactions with others.

Thanks to a gift from author Pamela McCorduck in 2018, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries is also home to a significant collection of AI art by groundbreaking artists Harold Cohen and Lillian Schwartz. The 19 pieces held in the collection are early, unique examples of the potential for creativity and innovation at the intersection of computer science and the humanities. A collection of Cohen’s work was given its own exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art from February through May 2024.  .

Public Artwork: ’Untitled Core Sample (THE FENCE)’

A new public art installation is visible outside of CMU’s Forbes Beeler Apartments. The large-scale sculpture, titled Untitled Core Sample (THE FENCE), is a monument to The Fence, a long-standing tradition and landmark in the center of CMU’s main campus that students have used since 1923 to share and highlight messages to the Carnegie Mellon community.

To honor The Fence and the thousands of hands that have contributed to its legacy, artist Amanda Ross-Ho took a cylindrical core sample of its surface, capturing hundreds of layers of paint from the time of its 1993 reconstruction to 2023,  the 100-year anniversary of the original fence structure. The sample was reproduced in faithful detail on an enlarged scale, creating a monument that serves as a colorful aggregated record, and historical timeline, of CMU’s cultural history and student community.

’Four Birds’

The CMU Undergraduate Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly selected a work by first year  School of Art student Bella Alt for permanent installation. The work, titled "Four Birds," will be installed on the fifth floor of Wean Hall (across from La Prima).

The Senate and GSA received 32 submissions by 25 students or teams of students for seven installation locations. These submissions then underwent four rounds of review by the Senate Business Affairs committee, GSA Campus Affairs Committee, representatives of the University’s facilities and design teams, and the Public Art Subcommittee before Alt’s work was chosen.

Contributions to this article were made by Sarah Bender, Kathryn Leary and Karen Richters.

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