“This project presented a lot of challenges, said Arin Caveney ’19, a theatre major from Lansing, N.Y. “It had to be almost completely made out of wood, which was a material that I had never worked in before. However, these challenges made it really engaging and my favorite project of the class.”
Caveney’s design is based on the fictional city of Zobeide from Calvino’s “Invisible Cities,” a place where generations of men dream of a woman running naked through a winding city. The men build a city to recreate the dream and find the woman, but their efforts are unsuccessful.
“There are multiple parts within my sculpture that reference this story. The outside of the bee hotel has a hexagonal shape, while the inside has bunches of cylindrical pieces of wood, in varying sizes and types. This repetition of circles inside a greater space creates a feeling of being trapped in a limited world, much like the men of Zobeide,” said Caveney.
“My bee hotel is inspired by the fictional city, Chloe, from Calvino’s book,” said Alex Wojenski ’18, a studio art and education double major from St. Keene, N.H. “I divided my project into distinct sections that don’t overlap, because the people in Chloe who ‘move through the streets are always strangers. At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another… but never speak.’”
Even without knowing each story, the individual designs reflect an integration of imagination with function, and also a thoughtful sense of the environment in which the shapes and materials have been installed.
“With this collaboration, students have become aware of some of the important and lasting impacts that art can have on the world around us,” Vivero observes. “Also, students have been exposed to working in collaboration with other disciplines, and artists many times need to collaborate with experts in other fields to complete projects that are meaningful and useful.”