The meaning of art: UCD, Baylor incorporate art on campus

Photo courtesy of Harper Leigh

By Kenzie Campbell | Guest Contributor

While taking a stroll on the University College Dublin campus, I’m surprised by the use of statues and art. Seeing beautiful, meaningful, artistic work around a college campus was a shock to me. Baylor doesn’t have anything like it, and I’m not sure many American colleges do.

The statues themselves look like they belong in a museum — like they’re created with the vision of becoming famous or being admired in the Louvre. They encompass the artists’ emotions: pain, terror, love, hope. They’re all saying something, and UCD gives them the chance to speak by putting them out in nature. You can see them near a lake, between a couple trees or in the center of a courtyard.

Any statues we have at Baylor are of dead influential people who have brought controversy and opinion with them. While the Judge Baylor statue makes for an iconic graduation photo, his presence seems simple, almost like an afterthought, compared to the art on the UCD campus.

There is a statue of two people dancing by a lake that was made to represent the Great Famine — one of the most troubling times for Ireland. It was a period when people were either starving to death or fleeing the country for another. It led to great loss and affected the growth of the country as a whole. A piece so delicate and beautiful represents one of the hardest times for the country. It speaks to the struggle of thousands, and yet it is something people want to look at and admire.

I personally don’t think Baylor has anything like it. All the statues and “art” are regulated pieces that don’t hold a deeper meaning. You could argue that the Immortal Ten statues are art, but I believe they’re a memorial first, art second.