90-ton bear sculpture to be displayed at UCSD

by Sofia Marin U-Wire

The Stuart Collection of University of California at San Diego,responsible for sculptures on campus such as the Sun God and theSnake Path, is preparing for a giant granite bear sculpture as itslatest addition.

The largest boulder commissioned for the sculpture, weighing 90tons, was transported to UCSD’s Camp Elliot campus Wednesday andjoined seven other smaller boulders with which artist Tim Hawkinsonwill create the piece.

The sculpture will be a granite bear in a seated position,weighing about 300 tons and measuring 22 feet in height.

The bear will be built in the middle of a quad at the JacobsSchool of Engineering.

“It will really be quite a complex engineering challenge,” saidJane Zwerneman, program director of the Stuart Collection.

According to Zwerneman, the engineering school will participatein the construction of the sculpture and help to arrange how thepieces will be held together.

Later this year, the eight separate stones that comprise thepiece will be collectively moved to the UCSD campus, whereHawkinson will combine them into the finished bear form.

The proposal for this sculpture was sanctioned by the StuartCollection International Advisory Committee before being approvedby UCSD administration.

According to Zwerneman, the Stuart Collection is constantly onthe lookout for potential artists and invites them to the UCSDcampus to explore prospective sites for a sculpture.

Project coordinator Mathiew Gregoire then oversees the logisticsof the construction of a piece and works closely with theartist.

“(There is) a contrast with simplicity with this bear,”Zwerneman said. “It is absolutely enormous and is being placed inthe super high-tech new quad in the engineering school. There’s alot of contrast there.”

The granite bear is the sixteenth piece in the StuartCollection. Previous sculptures include the Trees, Vices andVirtues and the Read/Write/Think/Dream Geisel Library entrance.

The UCSD and Stuart Collection partnership began in 1982 withthe aim of enriching the cultural, intellectual and scholarly lifeof the UCSD campus and of the San Diego community by building andmaintaining site-specific works of art.

While some students said they found the public art exhibits oncampus pleasing, others said they thought that the upcomingaddition was unnecessary.

“We already have a lot of buildings that catch the eye. It seemslike a waste of energy, money and space,” said Eleanor RooseveltCollege sophomore Natasha Cridler. “I feel like they could dosomething more useful, something that could be used by thestudents.”