North Campus Housing

Submitted by Marjorie Flanagan

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Client: Texas State University

Location: San Marcos, TX, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $424,000

Project Team

Architect

Kirksey Architecture

Art Consultant

Jennifer Seay

Art + Artisans Consulting

Artist

Marjorie Flanagan

Overview

Two installations for student residence halls: River of Leaves, a kinetic sculpture, and Fish Bellies, large biomorphic forms that change colors by the interaction of the students, both draw inspiration from the San Marcos River which runs through campus. In River of Leaves, each painted aluminum leaf moves independently while also flowing together, much like a student's experience in college. Fish Bellies creates a new student landmark inviting people to climb into and on top of the interlocking series of glowing laminated acrylic enclosures. Both commissions emphasizes the diversity and interaction of the student body.

Goals

The goals for this and all public art on campus are:
1. Meet the needs of the end user groups
2. Allow Residential Life to use art in a thematic way for all residence halls that are projected to be built on campus
3. Stimulate curiosity and engage students
4. Reflect a quality that will enhance the prestige of the university, making it an arts destination
5. Reflect a quality that will be positively recognized by the external art community
6. Allow faculty to use the art as examples of exceptional public art
7. Be easy to maintain

Process

Art Artisans Consulting uses the same basic process for all artwork selection when working with large or multiple committees. Based on the criteria for each project, options are presented to committee members and then narrowed down through open discussion and voting. The finalists are asked to present site specific proposals to the committee. In both these commissions, the artists were paid design fees and were given the opportunity to make a campus visit to present their ideas. Final selections were made after more committee discussion and voting. The president of the University was then given final approval before commissioning the work.

Once the artwork has been selected and approved, collaboration is between the consultant (Art Artisans) and the artist(s). We work with the artist to make sure the final piece adheres to the initial concept, that all physical requirements for installation including engineering and electrical are met, and the final installation meets all specifications. The end result here was artwork that engages students and faculty, and makes a positive contribution to the University environment.

Additional Information

Dr. Rosanne Proite, Director of the Department of Housing and Residential Life, has this to say about the art installations for North Campus Housing: ".....The two installations – Fish Bellies and River of Leaves -- provide both contemplative and interactive opportunities for our residents and guests. Goldstein’s work has evoked a sense of peace and tranquility as the river flows through the main lobby. Fish Bellies....(has become) a place to hang out; the outdoor area has quickly become the place for groups of friends to gather and take photographs – creating memories of their time spent together."