Wonder and Whimsy Come to the Courtyards of Core Campus

September 5, 2017

Exterior InstallationStudents have returned to campus to find a newly completed art installation just outside of Core Campus. The small courtyards outside of several of the building’s entrances have traded traditional landscaping for forests of steel, the spires of which hold up flocks of colorful wing-forms. The commissioned artist, Koryn Rolstad, commented that the piece would “integrate the ‘Chroma’ of sunset to sunrise, seasons, and integrate the University school colors for a flowing energizing and elegant spectrum experience.”

This latest infusion of art into Core Campus’s outdoor space can be attributed to Atelier InSite, a Creative Inquiry program driven by students whose focus is to bring public art to Clemson’s campus.  The program previously worked with San Francisco-based artist Klari Reis to bring the “Clemson Genus Project” to the Life Sciences Facility in 2014, and will be installing a new work this Fall semester for Lee III.

The Core Campus endeavor first began back in 2015, during which the students and faculty in Atelier InSite fielded over 200+ artist portfolios. Art professor David Detrich stated that one of the greatest challenges over the course of the two year selection and installation process was the “magnitude of the scope of the project,” but that Rolstad was chosen for her success in other similar settings. Atelier InSite student Michala Stewart added that the site-specific work “filled both the exterior and interior of Core with different designs that still complement one another so well.” Michala was also able to participate in the large scale installment in collaboration with other students and faculty, including Mr. Detrich, exemplifying Atelier InSite’s mission to include students in every step of the public art development process.Interior Installation

Detrich hopes that the work “becomes a great conversation piece between nature and architecture.” He states that the color is meant to lure participants out into the courtyard or into Core Campus B to engage them in a new part of Core Campus in which they may find new meaning. Michala also believes that the piece will engage her fellow students in something new and interesting, and hopes that Rolstad’s work will be “like a breath of fresh air.”

University Facilities also had a significant role to play, not only in the process of the art installation, but also in the finer details of the surrounding area. After the artist’s work was successfully installed, University Facilities took over to pave the walkways among the art, plant greenery under the colored spokes, and ensure that drainage was properly installed around the courtyard. Campus Planner & Landscape Architect Barry Anderson commented on how University Facilities worked to ensure that the additions were “implemented in a fashion that complimented the artist’s intentions,” and “[ensured] the experience of the art was fully accessible to all who want to explore the art from within.”

This project, as with all projects from Atelier InSite, was a major cross-campus collaboration between students, faculty, and staff. Detrich says that the growth he has seen from his students over the course of this two-year effort IMG_4069stems from their involvement in every aspect of the undertaking. He believes that “they quickly become invested in the process in that each project becomes part of a contributing mark they leave on campus.” Michala also reflected on how she “was treated as part of the team and helped with nearly every aspect of the large installation,” teaching her not only how the process is carried out, but also about how to work as a part of a large team of faculty and staff.

Rolstad’s work can be viewed in the two main courtyards of Core Campus, as well as within the Core Campus B building, hanging down from above.