Row, row, row your art

Caroline in boatWhat would you do for your art? Caroline A. Coolidge ‘22 rowed out into a pond to mount her installation for an outdoor sculpture exhibition. 

Guest post by the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts

Earlier this month, the 2018 Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit opened at the Old Frog Pond Farm and Studio in the town of Harvard, Massachusetts. The self-guided tour features student work from the course Interdisciplinary Projects led by Ann Eder at the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard. One of the works in the show is Metamorphic Reflections, an installation by Caroline A. Coolidge ’22. Coolidge says her work explores “change, decay and the issues of perception and visual realities in our world at large.” She spoke with the Ceramics Program recently in more detail about her installation at Old Frog Pond.

A detail of "Metamorphic Reflections"
Tell us about your work at this outdoor exhibition.
I first conceived my environmental sculpture after visiting the Old Frog Pond. The fallen tree branches penetrating the water and the reflections they created were the initial inspirations for this piece. I continued to explore the decaying of the natural wood by juxtaposing it with manufactured wooden products, thus creating a dialogue between the two. I deconstructed found furniture and painted it white to enhance the reflections and depth on the water. 

What was the experience installing this work?
Installing the work was both challenging and incredibly fun. I installed the entire work from a rowboat, rowing each piece out on the pond, placing it and then rowing away from it to consider the aesthetic impact. I had to climb trees and slide along the branches to attach many of the elements.

The long view of "Metamorphic Reflections"
When and where did you begin your practice with sculpture and art making?
I have been making art as long as I can remember. I began to gravitate toward sculpture when I was in high school. I had the opportunity to create a sculptural installation for my senior capstone project, and I also took pottery courses and learned how to weld at
The Steel Yard studio in Providence, Rhode Island. This summer, worked at the Harvard Ceramics Studio, which provided an amazing environment for creativity. It allowed me to continue my work in three dimensions and explore new opportunities.

How do you think you will combine/balance your art practice with your busy life as a Harvard student?
I’m excited to be studying VES at Harvard because I believe I will learn an amazing amount from the faculty, and they will challenge me creatively and intellectually. During the academic year I will focus on course work and working at the Ceramics Program. I hope to pursue my other ideas and artist practice during the summer.