/Night of the tape sculptures

Night of the tape sculptures


Two of the tape sculptures from around campus. Photos by Jasmyne Ray.

They arrived on campus overnight, seen hanging from trees and on the sides of street corners. They’re hard not to notice on a walk down Main Street or through the Quad. It’s not ghouls, goblins or elves, but tape sculptures. The plastic pieces are from Professor of Art Ted Metz’s Introduction to Sculpture class.

To build the sculptures, the students used “two inch wab clear packing tape”. According to Metz, it takes 10 rolls of tape to make one sculpture. Each sculpture is cast around the students’ bodies.

The project’s artistic intent is for the students to be autobiographical and express with the sculpture either the questioning of a dream or overcoming of a hardship as stated by Metz.

Junior art major Ashley Phillips decided to express the overcoming of a hardship with a piece titled “Old habits die Hard.” The sculpture is located on the road leading to the Student Retreat Center. “Old habits die Hard” consists of two tape sculptures. One stands leaned against a shovel, and the other, covered in beer labels, is half buried clutching a bottle. According to Phillips, the one without labels is the sobriety of a person, but the one with the labels is the alcoholic half. It’s someone “trying to bury it” or “wanting to go back to it.” Phillips also commented the sculpture doesn’t just have to be about alcoholism, but it can be about any kind of addiction.

Sarah Vanvleck decided to express her dreams with a piece titled “How Far Can I Go” which  is located outside of UMOM. The sculpture grasps a suitcase in one hand and a bushel of balloons in the other. Vanvleck says her piece represents the aspirations she has an artist but that her pursuit toward those aspirations is hindered by the responsibilities of daily life. She is weighed down by “chores” and “work,” and these things prevent her from fully pursuing her dreams. It’s “being torn from what I love to do and what is expected of me,” said Vanvleck.

The sculptures are around campus and the town of Montevallo. One located near Tutwiler residence hall is seated on a bench with its heart torn from its chest. Another in Farmer leans against a pillar in a twisted pose. One lies in the graveyard by Hill House clutching a photograph. Unfortunately, most of the sculptures have been vandalised. Autumn Spangle’s sculpture was in the stairwell of Bloch. The damage consisted of the head, one arm and one foot being ripped off. The torso was split in half. Spangle said she was upset and aggravated at all her time and energy being decimated and mutilated.

“If you don’t like it, then don’t look at it, but please don’t destroy it.” The students of Montevallo had mixed reactions toward the sculptures.

Love or hate them, the tape sculptures will be sticking around.

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