Campus Digest: Collaboration parks public art around campus

By Paul Mayne
September 20, 2012

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Is it public art? Is it a bike rack? Yes, on both accounts.

While there are already a number of wonderful installations of public art around campus, the latest addition to the mix hopes to be put to good use.

From the creative minds of McIntosh Gallery curator Catherine Elliot Shaw and Faculty of Engineering staffer Jan Sheppard, the pair sought a project to bring art and engineering students together.  The idea of bike racks not only brought the two groups together, but also hopes to raise awareness about the environmental and health benefits of cycling.

With the enthusiastic support of Visual Arts chair Joy James – and professor Kelly Jazvac even incorporating the project into her sculpture class – Jazvac’s students teamed up with the engineering students to develop, design and make the models.

“Western has some incredible works of sculpture on campus and we wanted to further enhance the campus environment and demonstrate that art and design are part of everyday life,” said McIntosh Gallery Director and Chief Curator James Patten, who will help host the unveiling of the four winning designs today (Thursday) at 4 p.m. at the McIntosh Gallery.

The students worked in teams with a jury selecting the top four designs, based on artistic merit and practicality. These four designs were then each produced four times, for a total of 16 ‘art racks’ to be spread throughout campus.

“The Western Bike Rack Project demonstrated what is possible through team work and collaboration,” Patten said. “We wanted to change the perception that engineering and the arts operate in separate worlds. The response was amazing.”

 He added financial support from the Undergraduate Engineering Society, Western Parking Services, the Western Alumni Association and Dietrich Steel helped with the completion of the project.

News and notes

  • The Centre for Social Concern at King’s University College will host Lessons from the Quebec Student Movement at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 in the South Annex, Room 150. The talk is part of a cross-Canada speaking tour featuring Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, former spokesperson for CLASSE; Cloé Zawadzki-Turcotte, formerly on the CLASS executive; and Ethan Cox, special correspondent on the strike for The event is co-sponsored by Local 27 of the Canadian Auto Workers, Public Humanities @ Western and SURLA – Students United in Representation of Latin America.
  • Western professor Dr. Lorne Parnes was awarded the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) Head and Neck Surgery Distinguished Service Award, only the second Canadian physician to be so honoured. In addition to his work in Western’s Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Parnes is the medical/surgical director of the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) cochlear implant program, and is site chief for the Department of Otolaryngology at University Hospital.
  • A team of wobbly-ankled men from Facilities Management legged out a mile-long route around Victoria Park in support of Women’s Community House on Sunday. The slow-paced shuffle in bright red pumps was part of the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, making a statement against domestic violence and raising more than $40,000 in donations.
    The team from Facilities Management – Doug Rodwell, Brandon Watson, Cody Brown, Kyle Dickson and J.P. Laporte – joined other community members to help support London’s women shelters.
    Thanks to the support and donations from members of the division and coordinator, Kayla Lagerwerf, the team from FM raised $1,800.
  • National Tree Day is a chance for all Canadians to celebrate and show their appreciation for the benefits that trees provide. The day falls within National Forest Week, and takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
    Western is celebrating National Tree Day by providing free seedlings at three different locations on campus, including the Support Services Building, main entrance, fourth floor, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.; Stevenson Hall/Lawson Hall, west entrance, first floor, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; and Western Science Centre, south entrance, first floor, 1-2:30 p.m.
    Once you have received your seedling, you can register it at the booth through the Million Tree Challenge website,


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