News & Features

An Artistic Touch for Library’s North Entrance

Professor of Art Harry Roseman
Professor of Art Harry Roseman

When installation artist Harry Roseman makes art, he likes it to transform a space, “to make the experience quite different from what it was before” and to “wash over people and elicit a visceral response.” He’s hoping to do just that with North Entrance, a new installation at the handicap entrance on the north side of the Thompson Memorial Library.

North Entrance is part of the college’s ongoing effort to create equivalency between the main entrances and the handicap entrances to buildings around campus. In early 2010, Roseman—who is also an art professor at Vassar—created Hole in the Wall, a temporary installation in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. Captivated by the installation, director of special projects Jeff Horst proposed that Roseman create a permanent installation in the north entrance of the library, which offers access by wheelchair lift and elevator.

Roseman and Juliana Halpert '12 work on the installation.
Roseman and Juliana Halpert '12 work on the installation.

“Work often comes out of [my] other work,” Roseman explains, “but its specifics are dictated by the space.” Roseman and his crew moved in a month before execution to sift through specifics—what he termed “rehearsing for improvisation”—and began work as soon as they knew the “spirit” of the installation. His crew included Vassar alums Christina Teaglia ’97, Charlotte Terry ’12, and Juliana Halpert ’12, as well as artist Eric Zimmerman.

His vision “to take a rigid rectangular situation and push it around using an architecture of fluidity” is realized in a marriage of sculpted steel and paint, employing hues of aquatic greens, blues, and subtle shades of purple that “shimmer and vibrate,” he says.

“I want it to be pretty and smart,” Roseman says, “to unfold layers of thinking and cause people not to take space and experience for granted.”

–Nana T. Baffour-Awuah ’14

Images copyright Vassar College / Madeline Zappala '12

Posted Wednesday, August 8, 2012