Art Where You Least Expect

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Where I stayed
Illinois Central College

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unfortunately I was unable to visit a
proper art gallery for the art section of the Cultural Opportunities,
mostly because I waited until too late and the ICC art gallery is
closed for the summer. So I decided that instead of describing a
variety of things in an art gallery, I would analyze a single work of
sculpture on display in the ICC courtyard. The piece I chose was
called Trans-Plant, Healing Hands, Gifts of Life. It
is a rather small sculpture on display in the corner of the
courtyard, but I think that it is a very worthwhile example of
artwork that offers many possible meanings.
piece is shaped like a tree trunk, with roots at the bottom that
become arms and hands as they grow upward from the base. At the top
are leaves with a face poking through. I like how well it blends the
human and plant elements, and it is difficult to tell if the sculptor
started with a plant in mind and added human features, or started
with human features and made them look like a plant. The description
next to the sculpture explains that it was commissioned by the Peoria
Area Transplant Society, which does a lot to explain the design. It
seems like they are making a statement that through the organ
transplant program, vital organs can grow back just like the branches
on a tree.
other reason I like this sculpture is for a completely different
reason. To me, it could also be interpreted as a statement on how
similar plants and humans actually are, and how our fates are
intertwined. It seems like it could speak just as loudly for
conservation or respect for nature as it can for organ transplants.
But regardless of the message it was intended to send, it has caught
my glance more than once as I walked by it, and prompted me to think
about what it might mean. In my mind, this is the most valuable thing
we could look for in a work of art.
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