The Environmental Semester


Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit
Located on the grassy hill between Bonisteel Blvd. and the School of Music

Bundle, a 40 x 8 sculpture by Paul Flickinger, MFA candidate in the School of Art and Design, has found a site on the grassy hill between Bonisteel Blvd. and the School of Music. Bundle is constructed on 120 culls of red pine trunks, from a clear cutting which took place in the summer of 1996. The bound trunks are perched on two larger crossed pieces, as though their ends had just been cut off. The piece speaks to the question of what is valued in the environment, and will be on view through the summer of 1998. The exhibit is sponsored by the Pierpont Commons Arts and Programs as part of the LS&A winter 1998 theme semester, The Environment Semester/Rethinking the Relationship.

Flickinger tries to work with what most people would consider to be waste products. In the case of Bundle, the small skinny trees he culled from a plantation marked for harvesting would have been run over by heavy equipment, as larger (14x16) trees were taken for lumber. Trees in the 7-8 diameter range could be used for telephone poles, but anything smaller would become mulched in the harvesting process.

The driving force behind Flickingers work is a sense of the prime. He sees history as a series of actions and reactions; reactions propel one into new areas. Flickinger is reacting against the intellectualization of art, and seeks to combine both intellectual and tactile qualities to create a visual richness in his work. Thus, he looks more toward spiritual evolution, and provides a missing link for those who need something more tactile. He feels akin to the group called Mona Ha, a Japanese contemporary arts movement.

Flickinger, who will receive his MFA in sculpture this December, has thirty years of experience as a self-employed studio potter and artist; in recent years, he has worked primarily in sculpture. He received his BFA from Western Michigan University. He has taught at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Westshore Community College in Ludington, and at several workshops throughout Michigan. Flickinger studied briefly in Japan, and has just returned form a six month teaching post in Ethiopia.

Flickinger's next project will involve thirty-nine 60-70 year old phone poles, which were abandoned along the railroad tracks.

Sponsored by Pierpont Commons Arts & Programs.

Contact: Helen Welford, Pierpont Commons Arts and Programs, 764-7544

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