Art Class Creates Caterpillar Sculpture on Display


Students in the Introduction to the Visual Arts class constructed the caterpillar sculpture currently displayed on the quad near the west side of Ophelia Parrish.

The course allows non-art majors to explore the arts through different historical periods and themed activities. Danielle Yakle, assistant professor of art, guided the students through the construction process. Each segment of the caterpillar was constructed with a steel frame, covered in concrete and painted with exterior latex. Despite the structures being hollow, they are heavy enough to keep passersby from moving them and sturdy enough to hold several students at once. The footprint of each body segment is a circle with a 30-inch diameter. They range in height from 13 inches to 28 inches tall. The head and tail are slightly larger and stable enough to require no further mounting equipment.

The project idea stemmed from students’ wanting to create a work of art that was simultaneously functional and creative, so each body segment also serves as a bench or seat. The class chose the form of a caterpillar for its metaphorical potential as students transition from childhood to adulthood. They hope to enhance the social aspect of the space the project is installed in while offering the opportunity to engage directly with a piece of art.