Most members of the Guilford community have at least seen the stupefying steel and fiberglass sculpture in front of the Hege-Cox building, but everyone may not know who its artist is or what her inspirations were.
Altaire Anderson, a senior art major, was the winner of the biennially instated Weller Family Memorial Sculpture Competition, a contest required for all students enrolled in Sculpture II and Sculpture III at Guilford, but open to all students who have completed Sculpture I. Prior to contriving the stunning piece, Anderson submitted a written proposal, a drawing, and a model of her concept. A Sculpture II student at the time, Anderson did not expect her idea to be selected.
“Someone texted me ‘congratulations!’ when I was in class, and I was like ‘what,’ and they said, ‘Oh, check your email.’ ”
Anderson was an experienced welder, but fiberglass was a new material for her. Her winning composition is an abstraction of a tree. Though she did not have much practice working in a scale of such magnitude and was using fiberglass for the first time, her idea is incredibly well executed. The clear directional lines and repeated shapes paired with the slight translucency of the fiberglass result in stunning rhythm and movement, the piece is well-balanced, and the different materials and forms used create variety.
The main challenge Anderson faced was working in such a large scale.
“When you get to that size, there are so many dynamics you have to think about other than aesthetics,” she says.
Anderson is currently making preparations for her thesis project. She will graduate from Guilford in Spring of 2012.