Photo by Kayla Michaud |CIGAR| Students in the Harrington Hub will now be met with a wall of “who” questions that will inspire them to question everything around them.
Covering the walls of the Harrington Hub is a new art exhibit “FREEZE.” The exhibit commemorates 125 years of history for the University of Rhode Island and was designed by husband and wife, Erik Carlson and Erica Carpenter.
With every funded renovation or addition to the University, URI is required to put 1 percent of the budget towards art to go in that new or improved area. This art was mandated with the new renovations to the Harrington Hub and Ranger Hall.
With this, Carlson and Carpenter submitted their interest in designing the new art and were one of three finalists. In June 2017, they submitted their project proposal and were chosen as the artists of the new art.
After being chosen to the create the art, Carlson and Carpenter spent several months pulling questions from different publications and strategically positioning them.
Consisting of 125 “who” questions, the questions cover multiple walls of the hub. The questions were all taken from many different old publications at URI, such as magazines and issues of the Good Five Cent Cigar.
“We had a lot of ideas to begin with,” Carpenter said. But after a month working on the idea, the couple decided that documenting questions from the University’s past would be the best way to decorate the walls of the Hub.
The 125 questions included in the art are from various years in the University’s history, and are questions such as “Who has spoken with love?” “Who likes Elvis?” and “Who is texting you back?” The question “Who momentarily looks up?” is included in the art three times.
“‘Who’ is a big part of being in college… using ‘who’ brings the focus back to the people,” Carlson said. “Once we settled on the who questions it really started to come together.”
FREEZE was installed in the Hub during Spring Break and will soon be finished, once a plaque crediting Carlson and Carpenter is added.
Carlson and Carpenter expressed their excitement at their work finally being displayed. They hope it will speak to students and inspire them to ask more questions.
“We hope FREEZE will speak to students in general, and to students of the Harrington School in particular, about the work of questioning and the role it has to play in navigating the welter of information brought home to us every moment of the day by digital media,” Carlson said. “We hope, too, that in this gathering of voices spanning the University’s 125 year history they’ll find others that chime with their own.”