As graduation excitement builds at the Ridgecrest campus, it is joined by the anticipation of a possible new edition to the fence that surrounds the college sculpture garden.
The student fence panel project is an ongoing endeavor of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, which gives advanced students the opportunity to create large scale, outdoor public art. It is a long-term project, taking many years to accomplish, and involving students from incredibly diverse backgrounds and artistic interests. It also engages the public in both an immediate and enduring appreciation of art, and serves to beautify the Cerro Coso Ridgecrest campus in a thoughtful manner.
Former Visual and Performing Arts Outstanding Student of the Year James Gray constructed the most recent addition to the project. Gray is a non-traditional student—a military veteran who once served on a naval aircraft carrier. During his service, he worked in close quarters with a large number of people, whose mission involved dependence on efficient structure, loyalty to the group, and singularity of vision. This experience strongly influences his art, and leads us to contemplate the connections between workplace, home, and life purpose.
“The design of the honeycomb structure is both visually pleasing and incredibly efficient. These hexagon shapes save energy, and use the minimal amount of material necessary to build a large, interlocking hive. In the future, I would also like to make several singular bee sculptures and place them around the campus. Bees can travel very far, and this would tie the rest of the campus to the sculpture garden,” said Gray of his work.
The new sculpture complements the landscape and other works of art in Cerro Coso’s sculpture garden, a top destination for photographers and visitors at the college.