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John and Emily go to the Stuart Collection

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On a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, John Cappetta and I made our merry way over to UCSD’s Stuart Collection, a wonderful place full of art, adventure, and panic-stricken college students. Everything about it was magical except for the 40 minutes we spent looking for parking. But what is an adventure without a little adversity right? Come follow us on a journey full of bad directions and good art!

 

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Skipping down Alexis Smith’s Snake Path

 

The art world of San Diego in general is full of bad murals and an endless supply of impressionistic seascapes. But the Stuart Collection is a hidden gem. It boasts works by all the best – Kiki Smith, John Baldessari, Do Ho Suh, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, etc. all scattered along a campus that is approximately 100% eucalyptus tree grove. The density of foliage made our time there remarkably similar to an episode of "The Jeff Corwin Experience" but without the animals.

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Like all good adventures, this one started with a confusing-to-the-point-of-seeming-fake map. We were walking right by some of the best works without noticing while just happening upon others that we thought were in a vastly different parts of the campus. Soon enough though we got to Do Ho Suh’s Fallen Star, a house that is perched crookedly atop the seventh floor of the Jacobs Engineering Building. We couldn’t tell you how this thing is standing but we believe that the weight capacity of the building is a life or death situation. It’s a hell-hole for those afflicted with vertigo or a fear of heights and it’s the coolest thing ever for everyone else. (If you’re in the area and want to visit Fallen Star, make sure to go on a Tuesday or Thursday between 11am and 2pm as this is when it’s open to the public.)

 

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Pictured from left to right: Fallen Star, fellow Fallen Star tourists, John and I

 

After our descent from Fallen Star we made our way to Tim Hawkinson’s Bear, a sculpture of a teddy bear. The difference between this sculpture and your childhood best friend is that this one is 1. made of rock 2. over 23 feet tall and 3. weighs 180 tons. As pictured, John still found a way to be comforted by the animal despite the fact that he is now teddy bear sized compared to this beast. It’s as if Hawkinson saw the world from a teddy bear’s point of view and decided to make us the small ones who are thrown around and squeezed all the time. So meta…

 

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John and his bear hugs

 

Moving right along, we found the Price Center, where the Barbara Kruger created the single most depressing art installation this world has ever seen. It’s called Another and it towers above students while they study, snooze, eat Burger King and whatnot. The piece is made up of two giant clocks with the words, “Another day, another night, another idea, another dream, another song, another fear, another job, another exam, another smile, another book, another sweater, another car, another love, another life” all over it. This piece kindly reminds us that our lives are unoriginal, repetitive, and boring. The most bananas part of the piece though is the fact that students don’t descend into an existential crisis upon seeing it. They even hang out there amidst the clocks slowly counting down to their deaths. Below we documented this phenomenon.

 

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Sleep the anxiety away

 

My personal favorite in this massive collection is Standing by Kiki Smith. This piece is made up of a sculpture of a woman standing on a cut down eucalyptus tree. The cast of the tree was made from a eucalyptus that died on the campus of UCSD and it was done so well that you can see the trail of the beetles that were responsible for the tree’s death. The entire sculpture stands in a small pool of water in which we found some golf balls and an apple pipe. Props to the art-appreciating stoners who gave us a giggle. There is supposed to be water spouting from the woman’s wrists, but for whatever reason wasn’t during our visit. It might have been in an effort to keep birds from drinking the water and then inevitably pooping on the woman’s head but that’s just a theory.

 

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If you ever find yourself in La Jolla, this collection has no shortage of badassery. These are just a few of the amazing works on this campus. You can download the map here. Go and play amongst the works of some of the best artists this world has ever known!

By: Emily
Sources

Sources

  1. "Alexis Smith - Snake Path." Stuartcollection.ucsd.edu. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
  2. Barbara Kruger - Another." Stuartcollection.ucsd.edu. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
  3. "Do Ho Suh - Fallen Star." Stuartcollection.ucsd.edu. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
  4. "Kiki Smith - Standing." Stuartcollection.ucsd.edu. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
  5. Lu, Brittney. "UCSD Art Installations With Symbolic Statements." UCSD Guardian. N.p., 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
  6. "Tim Hawkinson - Bear." Stuartcollection.ucsd.edu. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
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Emily Browne

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