By ANEEKA RATNAYAKE
For The News-Letter
The University will unveil an interactive blue jay statue as part of a series of new projects on the Freshman Quad over Parents Weekend on Oct. 24-25. Students can paint and decorate the statue.
With graduate student Rodolfo Finocchi leading the project, alumna Destiny Bailey, senior Kanami Mori, senior Saman Baban, and junior Nicholas McCormack also took part in bringing this idea to life. Finocchi, Class of 2015, came up with the idea while serving on SGA his freshman year.
Finocchi had seen similar concepts on other campuses. He discussed his vision for the sculpture’s function at Homewood.
“We wanted to bring out that element of spontaneity and also wanted to make something that is uniquely Hopkins,” he said.
Standing outside the Fresh Food Café (FFC), students will be able to paint the sculpture without reserving it in advance.
This fiberglass blue jay, which will hold a shield, will initially be painted blue, but it will change colors as students take the project into their own hands.
Erin Yun, deputy to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, added that although the sculpture would be monitored to ensure that everything remains appropriate, the sculpture’s appearance will largely be up to the students.
“This should be for the students — this is a place for them to express themselves,” Yun said.
In addition to the statue itself, the project will also include an extensive landscaping layout with structures for student activities like a sand volleyball court and Frisbee golf stands. There will also be a picnic area in between the AMRs and the Homewood Museum that will have tables and chairs for students to congregate.
The statue itself, which will stand at 6 feet 7 inches tall, will be built by Hopkins professor Larcia Premo, a professor at the Center for Visual Arts who teaches sculpture and printmaking.
SGA contributed $2,500 last spring to cover various costs associated with the building of the sculpture and to establish its commitment to its creation.
Next to the Blue Jay, there will be a placard explaining how the Hopkins community created this project. Each year, this placard will be updated to show the percentage of the senior class that donated to the class gift. In this way, the sculpture and the placard are intended to foster a sense of community among Hopkins students.
“The idea is you’re part of this community and you’re always part of this community,” Yun said.
In addition to creating a place for freedom of expression and bonding between students, this project is intended to be a signature aspect of the Homewood campus and was sponsored by an Hopkins alumnus.