Exhibition Course Curates Outdoor Sculptures

By Caitlin Burns | December 13, 2019

Students at an outdoor sculpture with the scavenger hunt map

Students in Arcadia’s Make an Exhibition course, led by Assistant Professor of Art History Dr. Elizabeth Ferrell, curated the University’s collection of outdoor sculptures and hosted a scavenger hunt on Nov. 25.

For the first portion of the semester, students researched the history of the sculptures, surveyed the campus community regarding their perceptions of the sculptures, and spoke with professionals to develop best practices for curating outdoor art pieces. 

“We found out through a survey of campus that not a lot of people know we even had outdoor sculptures,” said Graphic Design major Gabi Gulla ’20. “We just want to make people more aware of them.”

Now, students are pursuing methods for highlighting Arcadia’s campus sculptures, including installing informational plaques, creating an online map, and consulting with a conservator to develop a cleaning schedule.

“The more people know about them and enjoy them, the more Arcadia might invest in these sculptures with things like plaques and restorations,” Gulla said.

Using the Harrison Gallery as a start and finish line, students were invited to visit all the outdoor sculptures on campus as part of the scavenger. Students were encouraged to visiting each sculpture by following a map produced by the class. At each sculpture, students in the course were ready with treats to hand out and information about the artwork.

Following the scavenger hunt students were tasked with posting a picture of their favorite campus sculpture for an Instagram photo contest. Ibrahim Sillah ’22 won a $25 Wawa gift card as the photo contest winner.

“This is a little bit more unconventional than other courses,” said Dr. Ferrell. “We want people to know they’re here. There are three unsited sculptures and people can put pins in the map for where they think they should go, and students are building a website with all their research and a map of where the sculptures are.”