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Smith Campus Center

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Smith Campus Center
A tall concrete building seen from below and to the right, with a front facade consisting mainly of windows. Two small bare trees are in front.
South elevation, 2010
Former namesHolyoke Center
General information
Architectural styleBrutalist
Address1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Town or cityCambridge, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°22′22″N 71°07′07″W / 42.37278°N 71.11861°W / 42.37278; -71.11861
Construction started1960
OwnerHarvard University
Height167 feet (51 m)
Technical details
Floor count10
Floor area360,000 sq ft (33,000 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectJosé Luis Sert
Architecture firmSert, Jackson and Gourley[1]

Harvard University's Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center) is a Brutalist administrative and service building occupying the block bounded by Massachusetts Avenue, Dunster Street, Holyoke Street, and Mount Auburn Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, directly opposite the Wadsworth Gate to Harvard Yard.[1] It houses administrative offices, an infirmary of the University Health Services, and a retail/restaurant arcade.[1]

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Welcome to the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series. Today we present the exquisite, intuitive, inimitable artist, Kiki Smith. So excited about that because it's been a number of years of conversation in the making to have her come here. I wanna thank our partners for their support of today's program, the University of Michigan Museum of Art or UMMA, the Chelsea River Gallery and Michigan radio 91.7 FM. Kiki's visit here is not just here for this talk, she's actually... Kiki has been here in Ann Arbor since Tuesday. She's been up on North Campus working in the print studio on a set of prints which has created quite a stir and has been a truly profound experience I hope, for some of our very very lucky students who have been able to engage with her and her creative process. I'm sure you'll hear more about this. I have just three announcements for you today and please pay close attention because we have upcoming specials in the program which are outside of our regular schedule. This Saturday, we're going to be in Detroit at Wasserman Projects, which is in a gallery in Eastern Market. We are hosting a performance by performance artist, poet, and theater maker, Penny Arcade. This is her show, "Longing lasts longer." This is a double award winner at the Edinburgh Festival, if you need any more impetus to go. Penny Arcade, She's an original member of New York's seminal rock and roll political theater, "The Play House of the Ridiculous," and she was a teenage superstar in Andy Warhol's "Factory." So again, not to be missed, this will be Saturday. This Saturday at Wasserman Projects in Detroit's Eastern Market at 7:00 PM. Then next Tuesday, October 24th at 5:30, at the museum, our dear University of Michigan Museum of Art here in Ann Arbor, Helmut Stern Auditorium, we will present Detroit native and the Stamps School alumni, the painter Jason Yates. This is also in partnership with Wasserman Projects as they are currently hosting an exhibition of Jason's work. So you can see the exhibition on Saturday when you go to see Penny Arcade's performance and then join us at the museum here on Tuesday evening at 5:30 to hear Jason Yates speak on his practice. And then next Thursday, we won't be here. We are actually taking a hiatus, this was a request from the president of the university because President Schlissel next Thursday is hosting his final bicentennial colloquium called, "The Campus of the Future." They will have a showcase during the day. They've invited students to make design projects about what does the campus of the future look like. All of these projects will be on display at the Duderstadt that day. And then there will be the competition finale because there will be some hefty awards given out at this finale which will take place with a panel of some professional designers which for some reason I couldn't find out who they have brought in. But they have brought in some people that are leaders in design apparently. And this will take place at the Power Center at 4:30 next Thursday. So we won't be here, but we will have events Saturday and Tuesday. So today, we will have a regular Q&A, not here, but in the screening room which... Exit the theater, go left down the hall, you'll find the screening room theater there. If you wanna meet Kiki and ask her a few questions, join us there directly after the talk here. And now for a proper introduction of our guest, please welcome a master printmaker himself, Stamps' school Professor Endi Poskovic. Good evening everybody. As Tina said, we have been busy for the past three days working with Kiki and I'm sure you'll find through the grapevine all the good things that have been happening at the school working from 8:00 AM 'till midnight everyday for the past three days. So, a lot to share and a lot to see. Kiki Smith has stated that, "I like that feeling when you're making art, that you're taking the energy out of your body and putting it into a physical object. I like things that are labor intensive. You make a little thing and another little thing and another little thing and eventually you see a possibility." Artist Kiki Smith has been known for her multidisciplinary practice in sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing and textiles relating to the human condition and the natural world. A daughter of Jane Lawrence Smith, an American actress and opera singer who was part of the 1950s New York city Art Scene and Tony Smith, an American minimalist sculptor and a noted theorist on art. Kiki Smith was born in Nuremberg, Germany, where her mother performed opera. Kiki Smith's works have been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, including over 30 museum exhibitions. Her work has been featured at five Venice Biennale including the 2017 edition, one of the most beautiful shows as part of the Giardini display. Kiki Smith is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Sciences. And in 2017 was awarded the Honorary Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts London. Previously, Smith was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the "TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World." Other noted awards includes Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 2000, the 2009 Edward MacDowell Medal, the 2010 Nelson A. Rockefeller Award, the 2013 US Department of State Medal of Arts, and the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center. She teaches at New York University and Columbia University in New York City. One thing that has always been on the mind of an artist maker such as myself and someone who works with young people, artists, designers has been Kiki's approach to making and especially prints. One quote that has always lingered on the back of my mind as I have approached this field has been her statement of our prints, which according to Kiki Smith, "Mimic what we are as humans. We're all the same and yet everyone is different." I also think there is a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality like saying rosaries. Kiki Smith has been an artist I've admired, an artist friend, an artist that I've exhibited with, someone that has included my one work in exhibitions. The whole idea that she would some day come here to Ann Arbor, Michigan to work with our students has been a dream ever since I came to Stamps. And I'm so thrilled that we have been in the studio for the past three days, making everybody really work harder than I have seen anybody work in my classes. And that has been one of the pivots that will guide me in the years to come as I approach things and as we all unearth what has been buried here in a very good and constructive way. So, please help me welcome an artist, one of the finest out there, Kiki Smith. Thank you. Hi. One second, I have to try to get this together a little bit 'cause I'm on a time schedule. They told me not to talk too long. So, can the lights go down a little bit or you don't do that? Is that a really... It's like that the whole time? Okay. It's like confession or something 'cause I can't see anything whatsoever. Okay so, I'm very happy to have been invited here and I'm really privileged and honored to be able to work with NDM students the last days on print making. We've just been generating as many things as we possibly could and then I have no idea how we keep it together, but we'll figure it out. But anyway, so... I don't know. I suppose this... Like I tried to put together, I asked my assistant to put together slides or images that relate to print making because I like print making a lot and to me, I thought most of my work really is generating out of print making. And that I've used it in all different ways and I've been attracted to it in different ways. And I could say like I'm one hand, it comes out... You know, my father was a sculptor, Tony Smith. He made the Gracehoper in front of the Detroit Art Institute and they were all comprised of octahedrons and tetrahedrons. I brought 400 images so I'll just ____ through them. I just like to do that to scare people. But he made octahedrons and tetrahedrons and at a certain point this paper company cut them all out. We would sit and put them together. So it's this thing about paper and using paper in a physical manner and then sort of the repetition of that. So that's maybe like one strain of why I like printmaking and there are probably others. But a lot of the images that I've used, I've gone over and over and over again, you're like making them in sculpture and making them in paper. But at a certain point, it became that I started maybe making drawings and changing drawings into lithographs and then changing those into big collage drawings. And then from that I started doing stained glass. And then from that really, I started making fur sculptures out of things but this is just stuff that I made. I was thinking about being an artist and what it means. What it means making, printmaking and stuff like that and I thought it doesn't necessarily mean anything, It's just... But it is one of the few endeavors you can do. So this is actually like that, I made this print and then I put plastic on the paper on the floor and then I covered it with clay and then I made the sculpture from that. So that's like a very direct way of using it. Cause I think printmaking is a great way to generate things and it's a great way to think about the last century. We think about printmaking and photography as being very influential in painting and sculpture and the way we think that, we always think that printmaking is really perfect because it taught people to think in layers. It taught people to think in a kind of deconstructed manner, that they understood that each level of something was completely abstract nothingness. It's just ink and paper. There's nothing there. There's nothing inherent in it as substance, just an oily substance on a piece of paper but one was creating the illusion of reality out of that. And so to me, that's always a good model that you have to step back from one's immediate circumstance or one's... What one thinks was going on and realize that there's no substance to it really, and therefore, it can change and move. These were the prints that I made. I started making prints, in 1980 we had this show, it's part of a group called Collaborative Projects. And we had a show in Time's Square called the "Time's Square Show." And we had a shop and in the shop people could make things. And I wanted to make T shirts and this friend of mine taught me how to make T shirts. And sort of out of that, I made prints. And then this was the first print I showed ever as artwork. And because of that, a publisher came and asked me if I wanted to make prints. And it was Bill Goldstein of ULAE in Long Island. I was very suspicious. I didn't wanna let him in my house. I didn't know who he was. I felt like, "Leave me alone and I just can make my own prints on my floor." And my friends said, "Shut up. That's who makes prints with Jasper Johns and Rauschenberg." They were like, "Don't act so crazy." And so when I went there, I made one print before this, but then they gave me this plate that was 60 x 4 feet and said, "Okay, now make an etching." And I had gone to community shops and made etchings about this big before, but this was the first one I made up there which was... He, Bill came and he said, "Just bring yourself. Don't bring any conceived notions and stuff." And I'm pretty controlling so those things make me nervous, but I just brought a casting material so he cast my head and we lay it on stones and then we layered up putting hair and xeroxes and transferring it. And for me, it was the first real time in my life where I really felt supported, was in this print situation. And it was a collaborative situation. People were helping you sort of manifest your vision. And so for me it really gave me a tremendous freedom. I had stopped drawing for probably six, or seven, or eight years before that and then I got the confidence to start trying to draw again. It's such a nice environment, the print world because it's often very collaborative. People help each other. It's better if you help each other. You can have better results helping one another. And it's a small world so it's very nice that you can know many of the people, like I knew Andy's work before I ever met him, and you can know who the printers are. The printers all know what lineage of print making they're in. And it's a very eccentric slice of life. It's not for everyone and many artists are great artists, but have absolutely zero interest in printmaking. And the people that do have interest in printmaking are completely, endlessly fascinated by it and can kind of... Because it has a technical aspect to it, and then it has this just endless freedom and also endless amount of space where you can learn something in it. And also it has a kind of fetishistic aspect of it because it is fussy. It has this repetition that people like about. A lot of artists like the sort of attention deficit, like fussiness of being able to make strokes over and over and over and over and over again, as a way to kinda be out of one's mind, or out of one's self, or out of place or something. You know, but for me, it's something that I've gotten to learn about on... Going a little bit to schools actually has taught me a tremendous amount because the students are working really hard actually. And often the students know much more technically than I do about making things, and they're attentive. But also I've learned in working in shops. But I teach also and since I teach and I don't quite know what I'm doing, I'm always trying to make up weird ways to teach, weird ways to ____. This was a print that I made as a line etch and then put in tone by sand paper. So it's like a poor man's aqua attempt. Aqua attempt is a one way making things that you get a continuous tone, a gradation, it's very beautiful. So I'm always trying to think about like the sort of dumbest homemade way of making things that you can imagine or using or being inspired by just very simple ways that you learned in elementary school how to make things, how to cut up a piece of paper and ink it up and slapped it on another something or other... O. And then this for me, this was... This is a weird talk cause then I got nervous or I lost myself right when I walked into this hall, dark hall. But this was, In 1994, I got asked to Alfred University to be like Artist in Residence there for a couple of weeks and I think I extended my stay for another month or so. And then right after that, I went to Mass College of Art. And a girl at Alfred taught me how to make a photo etching and photolithography. And then when I went to Mass College of Art, I stayed there. I think I was supposed to go there two weeks and I stayed about six weeks. And I went to the Peabody Museum and drew the collection of dead animals and piece them together and made them into lithos. And this really for me is in a certain way like a big moment of change in my work where I could start making things that were 30 feet long and stuff. And that I could also use images from lithography and from photo etching to piecing them together like collage sets that could be changing all the time. So it's like a repertoire theater or comic books or something like that, that everything, you could keep re working. And in certain way that relates to my father's work, this idea of keep, cutting, changing the relationship between octahedrons and tetrahedrons. But for me this is similar. It was a piece that same year that I made of crows, called Jersey Crows, 'cause all these dead crows fell out of the sky one day. But I made a body, two feet and two wings but then you could take them and reconfigure them each time differently. And to me this is a nice thing. That you get to animate inanimate objects and get... That they each have a variation of life but can still make sort of large whole conglomerates or be single individual things. Here I went to Pittsburgh and I drew animals, dead birds from their collection of birds in the museum that lived in that area and then first they were made like this as... And I guess this is what I'm really emphasizing, first I made etchings of birds, so this is about... I don't know, 16 feet long or something like that. And then I xeroxed the birds and then from the xeroxes I made rubber stamps. This is maybe like technical things, but rubber stamps and from rubber stamps I pulled molds off of them and then I made very flat pieces. So these were blankets that I made from those images. Then I made flat metal pieces from that. And then I could configure them like this and make very large wall pieces. And so I think that's really when I first started doing this. So this is a wall piece. For some reason this is in the cafeteria at the Whitney in New York now which I thought is really a weird idea 'cause it's really like a bunch of dead birds. And for me it was really based on seeing the horrific images of slaves in slave ships and sort of lining people up like that. And when you go into natural history museums and you open up these drawers and there's just these lines of endless dead birds like that. So I think it's funny that's in the cafeteria. So these are all like little birds and then they're just on quarter inch bronze or something and then with the point out the back. But it means that you can endlessly reconfigure. Oh, and then I made a little book out of it. You can take the same information and endlessly reconfigure it. And you know, it's the same in print making that you go over and over like you would address a play, you make your initial thing and then you go back. And I mean if you're really a great artist maybe you can just... Like Picasso or somebody just go like that in your sleep and then its really fabulous but somebody like me, I usually make about twenty something states or something in an etching. And now I try to figure out weirder, faster ways to do things 'cause it's a good thing to do. Things are little bit... It's expensive to add other people's expense. But this is the same thing, like those are prints that I made in Pittsburg also of animals that turn white in the winter or are white, and sort of a joke, but the strategy about it was like that things are white to show that they are dangerous or to show that they wanna disappear. But when you make an etching or when you're drawing something white then it turns black in the etching. But then the same thing, like I put plastic down on the etchings and then made little animals in porcelain to go with them. And these once were James Brown, who's an artist, who has lived in Mexico for many years. He invited me to Oaxaca where there are very good print makers in Oaxaca. And he, for his children would go out into the fields and find dead animals and then he'd put them in big egg jars with formaldehyde. Go to the drug store and buy formaldehyde, which is I don't think something we can do here. And some were an alcohol so he'd have like snakes and bunnies and frogs, and I made a collaboration with a friend, Suzanna Moore. And this was another print. This is a print from Harlan & Weaver in New York where my cat died and I had really wanted to make an image of myself holding my cat like a Pieta for several years. And I had had a friend of mine make a photograph of that but I looked sort of like happy, roly poly, middle aged woman with my cat sort of sitting there pissed off. And it didn't work and I thought it's always a good lesson in making art because you can't... Sometimes it corrects your delusional thinking. Sometimes it lets you just like go, flying around being delusional for days and years on end and other times it goes like, "No". But then when my cat died, I thought, "Okay, this is my moment." And I took my cat and brought it on my bicycle, wrapped up in my basket to my print publisher on Canal street. And then I laid the cat on a plate so that I could get the right proportions and then I made this print of my cat. And then this was another cat print, but this was a joke 'cause it was for the Pollock Krasner Foundation and they asked me if I'd make a print for them. Pollock and Krasner were very good friends to my parents, but somehow I felt like the stupidest thing I could do on earth for this abstract foundation was to make a picture of Kitten so I did that. But, these are all prints I made at Harlan and Weaver and for me, I've had the opportunity to work in schools making prints, work with publishers and then also hire people to publish. This was made at a school, began at a school. And then these are the lithos, like that deer and the other big one, then I made figures to go with them. But each time the figures could be completely changed, I just drew a person, a friend of mine standing up and then could cut her up and break her arms which you can do in collage and in printmaking, much easier than when you try to do them again. Then I went and cast her body and then I would do that, like make her move in different directions. But it's very stiff and on paper, it doesn't bother you that they're parts of one's elbow missing or something. You're brain just fills it in. But, you know in a sculpture... So that's the sculptural version of say that drawing, which came after the drawings. And for me a lot of... If you look at a lot of print makers, like Johns or many painting printmakers and you see that their paintings are coming out of there printmaking, that is evident in how they're thinking and the sort of thinking in section and thinking in layers is all happening before hand, years before hand in their printmaking. But all of these drawing came out of from making lithographic drawings. Those are from Mexico. Yeah, so this is the same thing. All of those wolf stuff, I went on a sort of a bender of wolves things for a couple of years and these are fairytale stuff. But it really came from someone asking me to be in some show and they wanted for artists to think about what would be good for the future of their area or of their town as if I should have the fainest idea or that you should care for ____ like towns and things are living organisms, that have their time and necessity and then sometimes that goes away or it doesn't go away. But it... There was this moment for awhile where people thought artists are going to like save the day or something like that. But the guy for some reason had a picture of, from Gustave Dore of a "Little Red Riding Hood," and "The Wolf." And to me I was really surprised 'cause they were the same size essentially. You know, like a young girl and a wolf. And then I thought, "Well, that can be your future." You can have like a gang of girls or a pack of wolves and so then it sort of went, but... And then this was just the image of the Red Riding Hood and the grandmother coming out of the wolf and then the other one was a naked woman coming out of the wolf. It was sort of the same image, it was just like to see what it looked like, just a person doing that. And these are all... But, I love this idea that you can just keep reconfiguring and changing and letting it reveal what it means to you. I'm always against this thing in school that you're supposed to know what you're doing. 'Cause I thought, you certainly don't need to know what you're doing to be alive. Like you can just show up and you can just show up for your work and sometimes after the fact it reveals itself to you or you can see how it has connections to things you're interested in, at a given moment or that you have things that interest you over long periods of time or that... To me, I always thought it was started saving my life and protecting me or something like that. But that's much more often in hindsight. That you have an impedes to do something, like this, I had the ____ came and asked me if I wanted to make a show of my prints when they were in Queens and they said I could have a billboard. And I got really excited, cause I thought, "Well, that's really like a cool to be able to make a billboard." And I thought of Henri Rousseau's paintings of the tiger or lion eating a white antelope. It's one animal catching another and then I started thinking about how lots of animals leave the planet, being eaten. And then I was thinking about how that's maybe a good way to think about how to get out of your ego or free of yourself or something like that. But then I made this sort of corny prints, a little bit like Currier and Ives Prints, that says on the bottom who the publisher is and what address it was published and the name and all that. Those things are in the image, which is something that was interesting to people in the 19th century. And this is also for me when I made those little Alices in porcelain and then the technology changed and you could do... It's not rapid prototyping of it, but you could cut it. They could scan things and cut them. At first it was very, very crude, now it's much more sophisticated way to work. So that one is at least ____. This is the only picture I really have of it now. This was after the Hurricane Irene. But all of these pieces were made small and then scanned and made large and so to me this is also something like printing or making... I think also for me, what printmaking is so nice about too, besides that it's endless, is that there's a distance in it. I don't really like making hand drawn things and having... It's true, there's something like too vulnerable about it to me now like, to make things by hand and have that floating out in the world or something. I felt I like that, that besides that you can make a multiple of something or multiple images of something, I like that your mark is distanced and that it gives you something that your own hand can't. Even though it comes from your hand and to me being an artist is really essentially only about having your own experience. That it's having the experience of making, it's the process of making that... I tried to convince somebody once to make a show where I made these boxes and I just put all the things I have made in the boxes and with a lid on, you know a plexi on top, as if like that's the byproduct of being an artist. But being an artist is really located in your own pleasure of doing and own discovery because the rest of what happens in the universe, for the most part, you have extremely little control over. And to be an artist you really have to essentially be deeply engaged in your own experience. That's the only thing that can hold you. But you can kind of take it and keep... Essentially it's just like turning rocks around or something. You can keep turning them and turning them and letting them have all different expressions and some place in that, you maybe find yourself or you get rid of yourself or something. And this one too, this was back to the thing of making rubber stamps. So I made polymer plates that were used in printing newspapers and stuff and I had them raised a line and then I hammer those into clay. And then as soon as I redraw the clay so you get a deeper line and then I pull waxes off of it. But so it's the same thing like using a print into a material and then lifting it and making it a three dimen... This year, it's a three dimensional object, but it keeps your hand in a way that you can't keep. For me, I couldn't make a large drawing and have the same intimacy. Even though I draw for people, I would draw one to one and stuff, but there's certain things I couldn't do and keep myself and keep your touch in it which you can do either through printmaking or through blowing things up, but blowing up lines. But this way, you can make similar things just from rubber stamps and stuff and then you can put them together in 20,000 different ways. So this is that same image, but as a necklace, like this little scar necklaces. And also for me to jewelry is something very important that also has something to do with printmaking which all have something to do with making amulets or talismans or spell. Printmaking has some... Besides it being generative, it has something about intention or prayer or making magic and jewelry has very much that same function in our lives that is... And all of these does in the sense that it metals from outer space from the beginning of time coming down and splattering on the earth and then stones and things being made in the pressure of the earth. And then so it's these things that are these collaborations between you, all of the history of the universe and like the heavens and Earth. So every time you're doing something with metals, it has that primordial beginning to it. These are ones that I'll say, I like these mono prints but in bronze where printing or working in clay and sizing clay the way I would make an etching and then cutting them out and these were leafed. There's this like, I made a couple of years of having fantasies of making churches and things, but nobody wanted them. Nobody wanted me to make a church, but I was happy to make them. Oh and then this is... Sorry, if you're not interested in printmaking, it's probably really, really boring. But it's tough luck. These are polymer plate prints which I just learned about a couple of years ago and they give you... If you're making out... And the thing is also like if you do printmaking, people say, "Oh, you're a sculptor. You're this or you're that." You can have this in other completely secret life that not very many people see and you can kinda be these different people in different sections of your life. And in polymer plate printing, they have this thing to come out really poorly in a certain way or like they pick up... The plates pick up all this noise. I've just made photographs of my assistants holding things and then layer them, but then when they go to print it, this other weird stuff comes and the thing is that a lot of making art is incredibly generous to you. The universe in general that you exist is generous to begin with, but printmaking and these art making can remind you how... Can be a good model for remembering. And one can be grateful in life to have be given so much because all this noise and all this stuff happens and you can always just say, "Oh, this is terrible, this is ruining my life. I have to get rid of all of this bad stuff." Or you can say, "Oh, aren't I really lucky and blessed today that there's this noise there that I could never make up." So it's always a collaboration, not only between you and a printer or you and the press, but it's also always between you and the universe. And I think that the thing about art is that often it's like you have an impetus to do something, a desire to do something and that's just like an idea and some people very clearly follow that idea. But for me, it's really that you have an idea which is just like a kinda knee jerk, something like falls into your skull. But for me, it's often the most interesting when it starts falling apart. Like, you're working on something and then it's not anything how you want it to be, and you're miserable. And then you get to start having an experience. So it's like a relationship. It's not all just like, "I imagine this is all gonna be like this." It's like all of a sudden, there's a person or there's some unruly material, and it starts interacting with you in a way that is unexpected. And then either you can take that as really a blessing or a curse. That's your choice. For me, I always think every time something doesn't come out right, I just always go, "Lower your standards." You have a choice, do you wanna be miserable or you wanna be happy? Just let go of your idea and be happy. And for me, I'd much rather be a happy person. I can't say that I am all the time, but in general I prefer that version of life. So these are like that. Like I made that big, and then these were scanned and blown up this big. And then fought with and stuff to get somewhere that I liked them. And this was nice 'cause this was... I know a woman who came from Detroit and she had cancer. And she was having an exhibition of her work. When she was there she was wearing a man's suit, and she had very short hair from chemo. I saw her and I thought, "Oh I really wanna draw her as an enunciation." And part of it was she remind me of the painting of Frida Kahlo, sitting after she's cut all her hair off and wearing a man's suit. But then I thought, "Oh, that's such a weird idea 'cause she's at least my age." I thought that's a weird idea for enunciation. But then after a while I thought, it actually really made sense, 'cause that's what it's like being an artist. Like you're just there, minding your own business and something comes in to you, and tells you to pay attention to it. Something becomes evident, or important, or significant to you, or keeps rattling itself in front of you. And then you sort of go, "Okay." I always thought that hell, the Virgin Mary with the Holy Ghost, sort of saying but also going like, "Stop it go away from me." You know like, "Get away from me." And a lot of times when you have ideas for things, you don't want them. Or it can take... Sometimes I try to hide from them and it takes years for me to do work, that if I had just done it to begin with, either maybe it needed more cooking inside, or maybe I could've just gotten it over with earlier, or something like that. But it is this thing about saying, yes to what you're given. And every artist and every person is given something different and unique. And so it's not to... The best thing you can do as an artist is to follow what you're given specifically. And sometimes it fits with the rest of things in the world, sometimes it doesn't. Often I make this stuff and I go like, "Ooh, couldn't you make things slightly less corny looking, or better sculpted, or something." I stopped making sculptures a couple of years ago 'cause I was so sick of my bad sculpting. But the more you're actually willing to trust what you're given and honor it, the better chance you have. These are all things made from rubber stamps of moths and stars. And then put with branches, or put with lath. Every time somebody knocks down a building on my block, I go get all the lath I can. This is just stuff. This I liked making. This was heading for a San Francisco Art Museum, and not the modern museum, but the one in the park end. They had a painting of colonial girls. 'Cause there's not so many 1700s colonial paintings. It was of two young girls and then I copied it. And that was something that was made in a computer, raised. And then I made them sort of floating in this cardboard box structure. In a room all of... It had raindrops all hanging on the ceiling, but it was like these two girls flying in outer space or something like that. ____ these things are all things, they're just certain patterns like those are drawings of wood, really. Then you cut out and make them into eyes. You can keep turning them around, or unfolding them, or letting them have... It's like facets or something in a ring that you keep finding out what all the different possibilities of something are. These are all visionary animals and visionary people. And then, because of printmaking, it enabled me to making these big lithos, enabled me to use them as cartoons for making stained glass painting. That's actually what I showed in Italy now. One's that I had made several years ago because you just work flat on a light table, you put your drawing down and then you copy it in glass and stained glasses such a... Also incredibly rich historical field to move around in. And these are things I'm making now, so I made these drawings of my sister. We went to SCAD, I have this friend Valerie Hammond who we teach printmaking together, and we went down to SCAD and tortured them for awhile making prints. And we'd come for five days and they would keep us always from 8:30 in the morning til 11:30 at night in the shop. And then we'd work, and then we'd go back home, and then we'd come back a couple of months later. But I made this breath prints of this and then she was making laser cut things. And I thought, "Oh I don't like those. I don't know know what to do with them. I'm not interested in that, you can just cut those lines like that." And then one day, I got interested in it and I started making... Taking those drawings, taking those lines and having them cut and then painting on them. And then... These are other things... Because of that, it allowed me then to start using those to hammer and to clay and pull waxes off of them. And these are necklaces but it's the same thing. It's making etchings put its etching into wax and casting it. All the technical skills that you use in jewelry making, you can move very easily now because of computers and things you can move sideways and into all these different lights. This is a... I made little pins of clouds and Starburst and stuff, but then I scan that and I could blow it up 9 feet, and that's a very different thing but it keeps that intimacy of hand which if I tried to make something big, it wouldn't have that same feeling. This is a little version, and that's a different version of a bird, And this is the same thing, I made this as a litho and then I put the clay bed and I copied my drawing. I just put my drawing on the clay and re drew it with the pencil so I could get all my own line work into it. But these are stain glass. So for me it's the thing that print making affords you is not only to have this very intimate experience, very super private personal experience, but also you can... Where I try to get the students to think about I said, "You can go in any direction." And something like an etching is really a physical cut in the universe, like You're cutting through a piece of metal but because of that line has such a strong integrity, you can blow it up 20 feet and it will hold. You can take an etching this big and make it tremendous, This is the same thing, these are drawings that I made small and made them into rubber stamps and made jewelry off of them. I couldn't do that without doing it that process. I have some more of that junk. And then this is the same, these were rubber stamps of bunnies and ____. That I think is a big one, but they were made from making a little drawing of a bunny that big. And then these were blown up. It had to fit on a flatbed, I think it's no longer than 15 feet or something like that. That one's smaller. Also I was saying, I made that print two years ago, this one, of a turkey. Sitting in a tree like a turkey in a bower and it's ____ so each area is inked up a different color. We made a couple and then everybody got sick of printing them 'cause they thought they took too long. But you know what, I thought like a turkey is a... I live upstate so a turkey is like this profoundly wonderful thing. You probably have a lot of turkeys in Detroit too, running around maybe, but Benjamin Franklin wanted to have turkeys as the symbol of America and you know they have this really archaicness and modesty to it, and... You know like why one does something or why one is attracted to doing something. Who knows? I came here and I've been making etchings of corn, and I got it in my head like, "Oh I wanna make like a cornucopia." And coming here to have something about bountiful appreciation and love of being on this planet. 'Cause my work when I was younger was... People assume it was very abject, or it's much more angst and fraught with lots of problems and stuff. And I have a friend, Mei mei Berssenbrugge who's a poet and she's also happens to be the wife of the great American artist Richard Tuttle, but she taught me about going towards love. Like going towards... And sometimes that appears as being sentimental or sentiment but which I think people are afraid of to express care and love of... You know how lucky we are to be here. And it really changed... For her, it really changed my life and world that I started my work, started going much more towards what I care about in my daily life, or I see in my daily life. I think I have like five more minutes but these are tapestries that... This is a cartoon, like a traditional cartoon, like I used also for the stained glass but... So I made lithographs and just to use to make drawings. And then I cut them up and made them into these patterns and then they were scanned in computers. And so the same ones that I used to make these stained glass paintings. But I cut them out and then we scanned them in a computer and then we worked on them as a digital print and they are woven like this as tapestries, but to me it was somehow very significant to make something in its own scale. Sometimes you can blow them up and they're okay 'cause they keep this intimacy but, sometimes it's important that each scale has its own integrity. Also because it's just collage, like you have endless quan... Like if you print a whole bunch of lithos, you have a bunch of just material, just stuff you can move around and play with. So this... I've been working with these people... Oh I guess... The first one was... Oh that was the drawing, the original and then that was the finished tapestry. And these I was asked by Magnolia Press in Berkeley, California. And they're really woven in ____ on Jacquard looms which were very important looms and one of the model's kind of an early computer. Like a card system for making something happen but to me they were originally like some attempt between the medieval, like the ideal of spectacle in the middle ages and in the roaring '20s and in kind of French and Hippie art and me, I guess. And here like how here in Detroit you have all of this great art deco. That I wanted them to have like... Be like ____ lights or something like that, then they go their own convoluted way. These are also the same thing but them printing them on ceramic tile. There are bunch of other ones. But these are all like those animals or all the animals that I drew in '94 at Harvard, so it's nice if you have... Like you keep things close to you. But as each material it's different, like this is different than the lithograph of it, but it also can have an intimacy about it. These are just a couple of prints. Oh and then this is another thing that's really great, you can take your prints and them make them into scarves and sell them. Because it's real and blow them up, I mean that's the thing, like that's the little print. I was making that as demo plates. Like showing my assistants how you could use the hard ground as a stop out. But then I took the image of that because it's an etching. You can blow it up big and have like another life 'cause it's also really nice making things. It's nice making a big part of... Art is making presence, and it's good to have some presence around. And that one now, like I got asked by ____ in France, to make a really handwoven tapestry which they take like seven or eight years, some of them take about 15 years. So this is I think, their xerox of my little print and then that's... You know, when they started to weave, I don't know how far into it they are now. Oh, I'm supposed to stop in three minutes. These are done at The Fabric Workshop which also you guys should... You know, if you're interested in printmaking stuff, they were started by ____ Stroud in Philadelphia and she invited hundreds of artist to come and make prints and make printed things, printed cloth. And a lot of artists wanted to make art and I thought, "I don't care about making art, I wanna make blankets and quilts. And my whole original idea was that... And dolls. I wanted to be an artist so I could have things at Macy's. You know, I wanted to be an artist so I could have make things for people's houses or try to have a nice life 'cause in way it is just about that. That's not very good. This is some other weird kick I'm on now, which is just like making small little sculptures. That's me and my husband. And this is also from a small print that I made, making demo plates at NYU and then I made it at UNT in Denton in North Texas but then I took those and have them cut in wood and then cast them into bronze and blew them up a bit, so that they have that same weirdness to them. These are more polymer prints. Oh, and those are the same like making the drawings 3D. This is my secret life. I don't really show those so much but I just... But I make them... But the same thing, like then I made... I had the laser cut made for hammering it into clay and making them into clay but then you can also use it as a rubbing, so you can keep your hand back into it. Put your hand back into it in a different way. I think that's the end. I don't know what these things are here for. That's the end. Oh I like that. This is a quest of... This is partially because of ND or because of Yugoslavia that they made these incredible... Like if you go online and you look up Yugoslavia and World War II memorials, you will learn more about sculpture than you have learned in years about the potential sculpture and ND had made a print of these which I had seen but I had seen this amid, this, ____ of this memorial that's like hands coming out abstracted... Sort of hands coming out of the earth. And I was so inspired by that that I made this sculpture now, this is a big, but I meant it like a wave with water glistening on it. So I sort of know that I'm a little bit boring today but it's tough luck. But I think if you think of the work and you see that how you can keep moving and reconfiguring and changing medium that you can learn a lot from doing that. You can have a wonderful experience and wonderful life from doing that. So that's all I know. I assist... Oh, this one I like. It's the end, so that's the same thing as making rubber stamps and then now I'm making it into a pigeon. So thank you.



Primarily designed by José Luis Sert (then dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design) and completed in 1966, the Smith Campus Center is an H-shaped ten-story reinforced concrete building. Low-rise portions, including an underground parking garage, have a larger footprint of 360,000 square feet (33,000 m2).

After the first phase of construction in 1963, the Harvard Crimson cited a local joke: "The one nice feature about Holyoke Center is that it's the one place in Cambridge from which you can't see Holyoke Center". [2] Within a few years the building's novel design and technical features began to present numerous difficulties, which a Harvard official likened to "a five-car accident at an intersection. You just can't tell what caused it." [3] These included crumbling of exterior structural concrete and an inefficient three-pipe heating and cooling system.[3]

It was Harvard's first highrise building, and has been called a "gray elephant" for the color of its concrete facades.[4][5]


From 1964 to 1979, the penthouse dining room was decorated with five large paintings installed by Mark Rothko, an Abstract Expressionist artist. Due to an unstable paint formulation and high levels of direct sunlight, the pigments faded severely, and the paintings were moved to protective storage. Since their removal, the artworks have been publicly displayed only five times, most recently from November 2014 to July 2015, at the newly renovated Harvard Art Museums.[6][7]

Renaming and renovation

Originally known as Holyoke Center, in 2013 it was renamed the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center,[8] then over the next several years underwent extensive renovation to create gathering, lounge and study spaces and space for exhibitions, events, and performances.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Holyoke Center, Harvard University". DOCOMOMO US.
  2. ^ "Dean Sert's Buildings". Harvard Crimson. October 8, 1963.
  3. ^ a b Georges, Christopher J. (November 2, 1983). "Holyoke Center Crumbles". Harvard Crimson.
  4. ^ Dean, Anrea O. (January 1979). "Evaluation: 'Gray elephant' in Harvard Square: Holyoke Center, most successful of the university's first-generation highrises". AIA Journal. 68 (1): 48–51.
  5. ^ Cromie, William (November 19, 1988). "UHS Celebrates A Century". Harvard Gazette.
  6. ^ Sheets, Hilarie M. (23 October 2014). "A Return for Rothko's Harvard Murals". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
  7. ^ "Exhibitions, Mark Rothko's Harvard Murals". Harvard Art Museums. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
  8. ^ "Holyoke Center to Become New Social Hub". Harvard Magazine. November–December 2013.
  9. ^
This page was last edited on 15 January 2019, at 22:30
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