Arts and Culture

Art exhibit was put up, vandalized, then repaired

Submitted by Kelly Goff

Associate Professor of Art, Kelly Goff, unveiled a new piece of art on Wheaton’s campus right outside of Chapin Hall on Sep. 17. The sculpture is titled “Continuous Line II” and is described by Goff as “a three-dimensional drawing” It was made out of rusty steel pipes that used to be a part of Wheaton’s central heating system. Its design is intended to suggest the flow of water.

According to Goff, the plot near Chapin Hall was brought forward to him as a potential location for a new art installation by members of the Wheaton community. He decided to place “Continuous Line II” there after being asked by a colleague if the art piece would be available as a loan to the college. Although he often does not exhibit his own work on campus, Goff is glad to share it.

“it is a privilege to share this piece with the Wheaton community,” said Goff.

Goff also shared that he selected old boiler room pipes for this exhibit because of the long-standing reoccupation with the notion of restoration in his artistic works. The sculpture was found destroyed on Sep. 20. 

“Somebody climbed up to the top of the sculpture on Saturday night” and destroyed the work “intentionally or accidentally.” It’s “not designed for climbing,” said Goff.

Goff said that he is not too concerned with the vandalism, and stated that he believes that the community loves art on campus. However, it seems that not everyone sees the vandalism as a bad thing. Talia Molle ’22 said that she thought the sculpture looked okay if not better after being climbed on.

“[I think] it looked better when someone destroyed it,” said Molle.

Mik Caruso ’23 took a more neutral stance.

“It looks like a large, crumpled up paper clip,” said Caruso.

Goff subsequently repaired the sculpture. He does not think the sculpture has changed in an artistic sense following this sequence of events, though he did have to reinforce some welds. The sculpture was reinstalled on Sep. 24, with a sign next to it reading, “Please do not climb on this artwork.”