Art in the building

I am teaching English classes at CC2. I started with readings about art because they seemed to be the least… inflammatory. Turns out many of my students are artists: sculptors, painters, photographers, musicians, dancers… I was surprised by the number of artists in my classes.

One of my classes is in the art building. It is newer than one of my other buildings and older than the other. But the thing that amazes me is the way art is functional in the space.

The floor near the gallery is a huge circular mosaic. The gallery is really an alcove, about the size of a room, with art around.

There are metal outlines of people, a bit Art Deco, to mark the bathrooms. You can see that the bathrooms are there without having to go hunting down the hall for a marked door. Genius! Art and function melded together like… some group I was just talking to someone about. Ah, the Japanese. Art and function put together to create beauty. Amazing.

There is also a metal coffee cup, complete with steam, jutting out over the door of the break room, which contains two tables, chairs, a Coke machine, and a junk food machine.

In the hall that my classroom is in there is a large metal heavy rusty thing about fourteen inches long and eight wide and two high. It is far too heavy to move and I have asked if it is art, but no one I asked seemed to know. If it is art, it matches the packages of Crayolas glued to a black folding wallet and displayed in the art gallery alcove. (In other words, I don’t think it is art.)

I love being in that building.

The older building offers such hope, streamlined walls, wide stairs, brick, Mexican tile roof. But inside it looks like an old and tired high school.

The newer building is too minimalist for my tastes. There are doors I am not sure actually go anywhere inside and there are doors that don’t appear to actually go outside. It is very open and airy, looking down two floors into a huge hole that houses lots of computers. It is not a pretty building.

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