First off, kudos to our new President Jane Fernandes.
On August 26th an inauguration was held in her honor, as she was named Guilford’s 9th– and very first female president. She is also the first deaf woman to lead an American college or university.
Following the ceremony, sticking to Guilford’s quaker roots set in simplicity and responsible stewardship, a club and talents fair engrossed the quad. As Jane rolled her sleeves up to plant a celebratory oak tree, I saw sculpture instructor, Mark Dixon‘s massive inflatable tetrahedrons from the corner of my eye. Yes, I said “tetrahedron.”
At first glance, the piece resembles some sort of marshmallow play house, the structure consisting solely of sheer plastic and an abundance of air. So, one might ask, “where does the air come from?”
Aha, there is a vent! With a rather large and powerful fan that inflates all three tetrahedrons and their thruways. I look up and each tetrahedron point reaches at least five feet over my head, their conic heads poking into the clouds.
The structure is completely sealed and closed off, except for one black-rimmed slit. The patter of a few Guilford students’ bare feet echo inside, along with laughter and the spatter of fresh paint. One painter traces her paintbrush into the shape of a fish as another slaps their painted hand onto the slippery plastic.
A gust of cool air rushes through the large slit opening of the inflatable tetrahedron. A drop or two of water slid across my forehead as my body adjusted itself to an unfamiliar and strangely light space. Bare feet slip across fresh wet paint slathered across the slick plastic floor. The space feels confined, yet vast. Skin: luminescent.
As painting inside the tetrahedron continued, ceramics instructor Charlie Tefft had a few wheels set up for throwing on the walkway. It felt great to see and feel art present at Jane’s inauguration… If only on the sideline generating a few smiles and remarks.