Art Tour on Campus

By The Beacon | September 24, 2014 4:36pm

By Alina Rosenkranz Photos by Hannah Baade

When thinking about art on campus, many students might think of the old oil paintings of donors or religious motifs. Some might be surprised by the varied artwork on The Bluff, including art most students pass by every day. The diversity is greater than you might expect.

Photo by Hannah BaadeAbstract Right by the front windows of the Clark Library you can see the almost contemporary steel sculpture by Manuel Izquierdo. Even though it is located in a central place on campus, it often goes unnoticed. Built and donated to the University in 1962, the abstract welded and hammered steel sculpture is open to diverse interpretation.







Photo by Hannah BaadeChrist the Teacher and Four Students You have probably sat on their welcoming laps at some point for a basic UP photo opportunity. These statues behind Franz - colloquially referred to as “the Jesus statue” - is actually called Christ the Teacher and Four Students. It is also called the Oddo Memorial after its donor Kay Oddo. It was crafted by Donovan Peterson in 1962.




The Hidden Onephoto by Hannah Baade Located right behind Swindell Hall, with a view of downtown and the Willamette River, is the Captain William Clark Monument. It is almost hidden at this unique campus spot surrounded by trees and bushes. It was made by Michael Florin Dente in 1988 who worked as a professor at UP from 1981-1999. The three people depicted by the sculpture are Clark, York and a Native American - all looking toward Mt. Jefferson. Go take a look and enjoy the view.




photo by Hannah BaadeBreaking the oil painting trend Maybe it’s not actually contemporary, but this abstract and modern picture comes close. To the right of the Library entrance you can see a picture titled “Yellow and Black” by Helen Gerardia. It is a geometric abstraction from 1965, and provides a nice change from all the old oil paintings on campus.




photo by Hannah BaadeThe Tree of Life The mystifying vine that grows up the side of Mehling Hall is the work of Portland artist Lee Kelly and is a representation of the traditional Christian symbol, ‘The tree of life.’  The 54 foot welded sculpture has been a part of Mehling since it’s unveiling in 1964 and has mystified students with it’s meaning for just as long. A Beacon, published in 1994, had interviews asking students “what is that thing?” with the best response from then senior Shannon Latti saying, “it’s an escape route.”