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2018–19: Nikki Burcea ’18 and Alanis Vulpis ’18

Echoes of a children’s playground outside Fort Awesome.

Enhancing the Utility of Campus Art

President’s Award for Public Art winners Nikki Burcea ’18 (sculpture) and Alanis Vulpis ’18 (visual arts) wanted to create art that works in collaboration with the Purchase College campus as a whole.

When choosing a location for their art, they sought places on campus that students flock towards to rest between classes. Drawing inspiration from the benches that dot the plaza outside the academic buildings, they wanted to expand this experience to other parts of campus.

Eventually settling on the grass outside Fort Awesome, their art hints towards a childhood playground in color and form. It consists of a bench accompanied by two objects referencing the surrounding plant life: the first, a solid structure with organic cutouts, much like Matisse’s paper works. The second, a silent wind chime, mimics the movements of the tall grass and trees.

“It’s important to us that the artwork on campus isn’t confined to the Visual Arts Building and its surrounding area,” said Burcea and Vulpis. “Students lounge on benches and grass patches throughout campus. We hope to enhance their experience by removing imaginary boundaries.”

Playground-like art outside Fort Awesome