@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

An Alumni Publication   Archive vol1no3 Contact
 
Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Campus Currents: UCSD Stories
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Campaign Update: Imagine the Future
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors
Features

Diego Rock
Autism: The Epidemic
It's the End of the      World As We Know It
Bear Essentials

Making Waves

Angel of Death Online
Bye-Bye Camp      Matthews
Da Vinci Part Deux
Hot Pursuit
Venice and Muddy      Waters
Eel City

Archive

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Features May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2
   

Bear Essentials
by Raymond Hardie

 
     

Bear is finally here. And at 370,000 pounds and over 20 foot tall, it’s hard to miss. The mega sculpture was christened Bear (surprise!) when artist Tim Hawkinson cracked a bottle of champagne over one of its gargantuan rocks on May 27.

Happily hunkered down in the center of the new Academic Courtyard at UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering, Bear joins 15 other outdoor works of art in UCSD’s Stuart Collection. Mary Beebe, the collection’s director, says she invited Hawkinson to think about a proposal in early 2001. They brought the Bear proposal to the Stuart Collection’s advisory committee in November 2001 and, as Beebe relates, they got very excited about the project. Next came the long search for rocks. Hawkinson finally found eight massive boulders at the Pala Band of Mission Indians Reservation North of San Diego (Bear’s torso alone, is 16 by 17 feet and weighs in at more than 100 tons).

Hawkinson was described by New York’s Whitney Museum, during his recent winter/spring exhibition, as “one of the most original sculptors working in America today.” He is known for producing art “at scales that vary from the monumental to the nearly microscopic.” And newsflash: This one is definitely monumental.

“It’s the most challenging project we’ve done. Even finding the boulders was difficult, and then the engineering was very complex,” says Beebe. “It’s been a long time coming and I’m exhilarated. Each of these works takes a different amount of time and take their own direction as they develop.”

Bear now oversees, with imperious whimsy, three surrounding engineering buildings: the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the Computer Science and Engineering buildings, both scheduled to be dedicated in fall 2005, and the Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall, which was opened in 2002.

“It’s appropriate that this newest addition to the Stuart Collection is in this space,” says Joan Jacobs, co-chair of the Friends of the Stuart Collection Council. And she predicts the artwork will resonate with students: “I think it will be adopted by students as a new mascot.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Beebe: “It’s going to be a truly memorable Bear to be enjoyed and pondered by untold generations to come.”

And now the big question: What gender is Bear? He
or she?

 

RELATED LINKS

UCSD Stuart Collection
VIEW

UCSD News:  Bear
VIEW

Tim Hawkinson
VIEW

"It’s appropriate that this newest addition to the Stuart Collection is in this space...

I think it will be adopted by students as a new mascot.."

- Joan Jacobs, co-chair of the Friends of the Stuart Collection Council