Dec 10 2012

Campus Art Review

Published by at 2:16 AM under Comm 300

Just outside the Morningside library sits a half-moon shaped concrete slab covered in paint. Visible from the street this out of place rest area is a well-known campus fixture simply known as the “Spoonholder.” Given to the college in 1908, as a gift from the class of 1903, painting the Spoonholder has become a Morningside tradition. Whether used as a congratulatory billboard to graduating seniors or as a welcoming sign for incoming freshman, the Spoonholder bench regularly changes its colors like the leaves of fall.

It has contained protest slogans, general information, humorous caricatures, as well as an occasional butt or two. As tradition has it, designs on the cement pew are to remain untouched for a minimum of forty-eight hours. Ask around to see if any current Mustang’s know the rule.

Likewise a rare known fact about the Spoonholder’s length is that there were thirteen members in its dedicating class. Thus, it’s designed to seat thirteen students comfortably. Found on Morningside College’s Historic District, the Spoonholder is one of several things on campus found on the National Register of Historic Places.

Another well-known fixture on campus is the Obelisk III, by Dubuque, Iowa artist, Tom Gibbs. Located within a stone throw of the Spoonholder, the Obelisk’s plaque donated in memory of Jon Langley is maintained by Psi Chi members who likewise provided the inspiration for the piece.

Senior Emily Domayer described the Obelisk as, “quite tall; it towers over me and is at least two and a half or three feet taller than I.”

Noting the obscure shape of the artwork Domayer depicted it as, “a gnome wearing a dunce hat, holding several square objects in his hands. In the middle of the statue, there are letter shaped holes that have been cut out. One looks like a “K” and the other could be an “O”.”

As for my reactions, I see both differently than most. The Spoonholder to me is not only a campus billboard but also a Morningside icon. Each year hundreds of students are introduced to this bench, though none seem to ever sit on it. If you were to count the number of students who have painted/signed the Spoonholder vice the number who have actually used it to rest on the number disparity would be amazing. Do I find it beautiful? No, I think it should have been placed somewhere more useful, where students could actually use it. It’s out of place where it sits and hopefully someday will be moved to a more appropriate position on campus.

As for the Obelisk, ironically enough I see it as the devil. Earlier for a World Religions class our professor used it to represent the devil as part of our Hajj assignment. As we encircled it, we threw Ping-Pong balls at it as a representation of throwing stones at the devil. This was a pivotal part of the Hajj ceremony and I enjoyed hurling the “stones” at it. However, the association of the Obelisk is forever tied to that class in my mind.

As students you should now a little something about the campus you stroll each day. You are here to learn, not only about yourself but also about the world around you. In the famous words of Day-Day, in the movie Friday, “expand your horizons.”


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