Reimagining Vanderbilt Sculptures: Turning Art into Art
Staff photographer Hallie Williams reenvisions some of the trademark statues on campus.
April 4, 2021
Walking around Vanderbilt’s campus, one may or may not notice the impressive amounts of sculptures that line the sidewalks and dot the greenery. While the red sculpture by The Student Life Center is a clear stand-out and every first-year has walked by the Martha Ingram Rivers statue, many of the more obscure and smaller statues remain overlooked. I personally have walked to and from East house a million times and never once noticed the sculpture “Map Turtle: Graptemys Geographica” right outside the front door.
Never fear, for I have turned one of my daily walks around campus into a sculpture hunt and brought my camera along with me.
Photographing art has always been intriguing to me, because photography in itself is an art form. So rather than just take photos of the art around campus in a boring, documenting way, I decided to reinvision some of the works. Using framing, lighting, incorporation of background and cropping, I’ve turned established art into new art.
Original Title: Tumbleweed
Location: Outside Student Life Center on corner
Artist: Mark di Suvero
Through the Lens Title: Nash
New Description: To me, the new framing of this statue alludes to a guitar, a lock and key, and oozes Nashville vibes. Depending on how you view it, and with a little creativity the name can serve as a jumping off point for new interpretations and connections to the city of Nashville.
Original Title: Flying Torso
Location: Outside Eskind Library (by circle drive on way through the Medical Center cut through)
Artist: Alan LeQuire
Through the Lens Title: Accentuate
New Description: The lighting here seems to call out parts of the figure. Highlighting certain parts of the body and shadows on others
Original Title: Antirocker
Location: Between Buttrick Hall and Rand
Artist: Steve Benneyworth
Through the Lens Title: Whizz
New Description: Rather than focus on the entire washer shape as a whole, I chose to focus on the center and ensuing spiral and encapsulate the texture and weathering.
Original Title: Being II Becoming
Location: Wall of Sarratt
Artist: Stephen Schaum
Through the Lens Title: Off the Walls
New Description: The orientation of this piece brings the question of gravity and structure to the front of discussion. The viewer has to confront this, which gives this piece an interesting dynamic.
Original Title: “Eighteen Campus Types”
Location: Rand Outside Dining Area
Artist: Lawrence Anthony
Through the Lens Title: Fellas
New Description: This is one of my favorite pictures as the fall leaves and lights in the background bring out the occurrence of a few fellas conversing and enjoying life under the market lights.
Original Title: The Fault
Location: Between McGill and Tolman Hall
Artist: Viviane Silvera
Through the Lens Title: Ode to the Unreachable
New Description: A different perspective and angle of this statue highlights the outreached hands of a younger human. Both practically and figuratively, the title nods to the future of growth and clean slate that has yet to be filled.
Original Title: Memory: Return
Location: In front of Alumni Hall
Artist: Ann Hirsch
Through the Lens Title: Giving Back
New Description: The framing of this photo lends to the fact that while the older woman is helping the younger girl the girl is also providing support from the ground up for the older. Each are giving something to one another and the striking contrast of colors pops out and is representative of the benefits both are receiving.
Original Title: Cylinder Fragments
Location: Outside the Student Life Center
Artist: Steve Benneyworth
Through the Lens Title: Ribbed
New Description: Again, texture becomes the central focus point of this piece. Turning a vertical piece horizontal automatically adds an interesting layer to it, but the narrow frame completely redefines what one sees and takes away from it.
Original Title: Endless Column
Location: Garland Hall (Central Library Quad)
Artist: Steve Benneyworth
Through the Lens Title: Occurrence
New Description: By taking this photo at night with flash I refocused the column shape of this piece into the texture and sharp contrast of the lines against the dark and plain background. Similarly, the occurrence of the small light in the background also adds an interesting dimension to this piece.
Original Title: Water and Sun
Location: Between North House and Cohen Memorial
Artist: Nic Jonk
Through the Lens Title: Azure Web
New Description: A zoomed in approach to viewing this piece highlights the different blue colors and round obtuse shapes and divots.
Original Title: Owls Outlook
Location: Magnolia Circle by Peabody LIbrary
Artist: Frank Fleming
Through the Lens Title: In bloom
New Description: Juxtaposing the top half of the sculpture against the blooming spring trees and blue sky, this new piece highlights the oncoming spring and summer through the focus on the dominant flower and stem.
Original Title: Come Play
Location: Between Commons Center and Hobbs HDL
Artist: Katherin Haven
Through the Lens Title: Helping Hand
New Description: By framing only part of the statue and focusing on the almost embracing almost touching arms and hands I focused this piece on the instant before contact: drawing tension between the viewer and the piece.