New home planned for Ocean campus artwork

BY JEAN_PIERRE BITCHOKA
CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Pieces of the Ocean campus front lawn sculpture Worldscape III and Robert Howard’s Whale Fountain are currently being stored behind the 200 series bungalows on the Ocean campus.

The pieces of art have currently been left uncovered and exposed to the elements for months at a time, permitting patches of rust and corrosion to continue to grow on Worldscape III and graffiti artists to tag the Whale Fountain using neon green spray paint.

Worldscape III was dismantled and moved during the spring 2008 from its location on the Science Hall lawn to its current location because it was obstructing construction of accessible paths being installed on Ocean campus. The original plan for the path of travel was to go around the sculpture but later on the artwork was removed because it was interfering with construction according to Julia Bergman, Chair of the Works of Arts committee.

In an Feb. 13 story that appeared in the Guardsman, Will Maynes, a Works of Arts Committee member, said that the construction had sped plans to evaluate the sculpture’s integrity, and possible plans of restoration.
The Whale Fountain has resided behind the 200 series bungalows for more than one and a half years. The sculpture is owned by the San Francisco Art Commission, and is permanently loaned to the College in December 2005.

“We have a plan for the whales, but we need to raise a lot of money to coordinate a major fundraising effort, because this plan would cost us millions of dollars,” said Bergman. “The San Francisco Art Commission Visual Art Committee also has to approve the plan.,” she added.

The proposed plan is to install the whales at the base of the science hall steps where Benny Bufano’s statute St. Francis of the Guns currently is. Bergman added that she presented the proposal to the board of trustees at the May 22 meeting.

“They loved the proposal, but they did not take any formal or legal action.” She added.

As for the fate of Worldscape III, the chair of the Works of Art committee is not sure about it. “ The big issue for the college is the issue of maintenance. It is sometimes a stretch to fund and maintain artworks around the campus,” said Bergman.