The passage between Interdisciplinary North and the Arts Building has recently been fenced-off. An art sculpture is being built by artist Roy McMakin, overseen by the department of Architects and Engineers and spearheaded by the Advisory Committee on Campus Art (ACCA).
The piece will include concrete bench seating and a turbine with the message “Change Things” or “Things Change,” depending on the perspective of the viewer. The shifting message, which Jacqueline Norman, UCR campus architect, explained to the Highlander would change on the physical and intellectual space of the pedestrian, will be the first major art installation at UC Riverside. Student, faculty and staff will be able to walk through and around the installment as they head to different parts of campus. “It’s exciting because it is such a heavily trafficked pedestrian area that may awaken people to the possibility and impact art can have on campus,” said Norman.
The art sculpture is expected to have a greater impact when the UCR Mobility Hub is completed, as it is located at a “major gateway,” stated Norman. According to UCR’s Architects and Engineers page, the Mobility Hub will be placed in between Skye Hall and CHASS’ Interdisciplinary North. The art piece will be “one of their first experiences (students) have at UCR,” says Norman, “people will engage with it every day just by simply walking through the area.”
The project has been long in the works — the artist was actually selected back in 2009, but energy stalled until the ACCA resurrected the proposal in 2014. While the chairs of the committee, CHASS Dean Milagros Pena and Vice Chancellor Peter Hayashida, did not respond to the Highlander’s request for comment, Norman noted how the ACCA first “identified a desire to have outdoor art on campus.” In addition, the ACCA and the department of Architects and Engineers have been in contact with other UCs that feature works of art on their campuses in hopes that the art sculpture will serve as momentum for more art pieces on campus. “San Diego has a vibrant exterior art program and we’ve been consulting with them on just how they managed that and on how to make art more prosperous,” said Norman.
Leonardo Kim, a third-year business major, says “it will add more culture to the school … this sort of thing is what makes the campus feel like UCR.” Jason Espinosa, project manager with the Department of Architects and Engineers, could not be reached for comment on the specific completion date of the project, but it is expected to be finished by the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.