Today I went to my Gothic Paris class, as usual on a Friday. It was a simply gorgeous day–the mid-February temperature topped out at 60 degrees F. And sunny! I sat on the Oval, the central area of the main campus, for a bit before class and then wandered around it again after class. Some of my favorite shots follow.
Thompson Library, the main library of maybe a dozen or so on the Columbus campus of Ohio State, is at the head of the Oval at the west end:
One of my favorite buildings on the Oval is Orton Hall, always recognizable from its round tower with a conical top.
This is the newest building on the Oval, University Hall:
Derby Hall used to house the official campus bookstore in its basement, back when I was an undergrad there:
Here is Hagerty Hall, where my Gothic Paris class is held. It is also the home of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS):
One of my very favorites among the old buildings around the Oval is the old art building, Hayes Hall. I like its dark red stone:
Some shots of students enjoying the weather today. This guy is sitting under an amazingly huge sycamore tree. These same trees are called plane trees in England:
They also have these trees in Istanbul, Turkey, whole avenues of them leading to the new (19th century) Sultan’s Palace. But I forget their name in Turkish! 😛 My memory is a sieve….
Lying on a blanket is a preferred method of relaxing, if you are a student on the Oval:
Then it was off to the east end of the Oval, towards the Wexner Center for the Arts. a showcase for contemporary art, theater, film, video, music and dance. Now that I’m a student, I can go to the shows there for free. Yay! 🙂
The Wexner Center for the Arts, as seen when approaching from the Oval:
The building is split in two at ground level. This is how it feels to approach it on foot. I walk between the two halves of the building every time I’m on campus:
Many times I stop in at the Wex before class in order to go to the Heirloom Cafe, which focuses on locally-sourced ingredients. I often order the egg sandwich, a major series of mouthfuls with hearty brown bread and melted cheese, along with a side of roasted potatoes.
The Heirloom Cafe is on the ground floor, which is also where you access the galleries and work your way up to the top of the building.
The first gallery at the bottom was filled with works by Caroline Herrera, in the “Lines of Sight” show.
These round Herrera paintings remind me of the round painted Viking shields:
There was either a small class in this gallery, or else it was one of the free guided tours that the Wexner offers:
After checking out this first room of works by Herrera, it was onward and upward through the building and the other galleries, which are accessed by ramp. But some of the galleries you can get to on tiny, semi-hidden staircases:
I didn’t capture the scale of these stairs, at all! Suffice it to say that an obese individual would not fit on them, because the walls on either side of the steps are so close together.
The gallery at the top of the stairs was also filled with Caroline Herrera paintings, the White and Green series from 1959-1971:
Then, on going up another level, I discovered the installation by Sarah Oppenheimer:
Oppenheimer’s installation, S-337473, is the result of a two-year residency that she completed at the Wex. During her numerous visits to the building, she spent hours in the Wexner Center’s unconventional spaces, analyzing blueprints and questioning details and measurements.
S-337473 is a project that draws from the fields of architecture, engineering, sculpture, and kinetics, among others. Each of the two units comprises a pivot mechanism encased in an elongated tube, set at a 45-degree angle in both elevation (as seen from the side) and plan (as seen from above). The tube supports a glass, box-like element that toggles between a column and a beam, depending on its orientation. The two units differ in that on one, the larger faces are glass, whereas the other’s larger faces are of aluminum, each an inversion of the other.
When in a vertical position, the volumes act as columns. In a horizontal position, they act as lintels. They are designed to move from position to position, and visitors to the Wex are invited to move them, or to request gallery staff to do so for them. I asked this gentleman to do so, and I captured the movement on camera:
The mechanism that allows each unit to rotate on the 45-degree bias angle is an invention that currently has a patent pending. Oppenheimer collaborated with faculty and graduate students from the University’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, resulting in this physical crux, which Oppenheimer calls a “switch,” leading to the “S” designation of the piece’s title: S-337473.
After being fairly nonplussed by the Oppenheimer installation, I discovered that there was still more to come from this two-woman show at the Wex. The top galleries were devoted to yet more works by Herrera, including both paintings and constructions. One gallery contained her Days of the Week paintings from 1975-1978:
My favorite Herrera works were in the very last room, at the top of the Wex:
A view at the top of the Wex:
Back down the ramp to the mezzanine level, I visited the desk to buy a ticket in the film series. This weekend they are screening the Oscar-nominated documentary about James Baldwin called “I Am Not Your Negro.” I wanted to go tonight, but they are sold out until Sunday afternoon! So I am going then….
Finally, the Wexner Center as seen from the North High Street side:
That’s all, folks! 🙂