Students entering Hinds Hall now will notice a colorful change inside the classrooms and along the main hallway. Wednesday, the iSchool unveiled eight new commissioned artworks as part of the Window’s Project, created by members of the Syracuse University community after months of preparation.
The Windows Project aims to install professional quality, permanent art installations as a finishing touch to the award-winning Hinds Hall renovation. It explores the connections between information, technology, art, and design, as well as building on the partnership between the iSchool and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
“The iSchool has tried to adopt a high-tech view of the building," said iSchool professor Art Thomas. "but the problem with high-tech is that it separates us from our humanity."
"The goal of this particular project with the arts was to reconnect us with our humanity and that side of us that we often ignore in terms of technology,” Thomas said.
What began as an open call for proposals last April culminated in a dinner formally unveiling the site-specific works of art Wednesday night. The Dean’s Design Prize winner is front and center, with a row of ceramic collages hanging across the curved hallway leading to the different classrooms.
The Information Spiral: Ice Age to Space Age, designed by VPA professor Margie Hughto, are ceramic artworks detailing the changing forms of communication over the years—from Egyptian hieroglyphs to binary codes.
The installation extends to the Hinds Hall basement which previously was grey concrete walls.
The installations use a diverse range of material, from the more traditional ceramic to the modern plexiglass. They also project differing perspectives into the field of information management.
The design entitled Overlooked Information: The Carbon Espalier, creates a work within a window well that depicts the configuration of a carbon molecule. VPA associate professor Errol Willett created the design to reflect the importance of "overlooked information".
“Overlooked also means things that have been passed over or not paid attention to. A lot of great ideas get missed by their own generation and come back in a future generation,” Willett said.
Beside Willett's work is a cast aluminum installation entitled Funambulists by VPA professor Gail Hoffman and Ron DeRutte. The scene shows people walking and riding bicycles along a precarious path.
In the study area beside the installations is a yellow, blue and red striped abstract piece entitled Projections by College of Architecture assistant professor Clare Olsen. It's made of acrylic, galvanized aircraft cable, fittings and rebar.
Different weather elements, sunshine streaming from above, or the case of its opening night, rain droplets, make her work more dynamic.
“There have been moments that have been a happy surprise,” said Olsen, expressing her pleasure at the way the rain droplets take on the color of the piece they are falling from.