What the campus needs now is love. Or at least that's what University officials, who recently welcomed Robert Indiana's "LOVE" sculpture to the University's family of public artwork, seem to be saying. The polychrome red, blue and green structure, one of Philadelphia's trademark sculptures that also stands in Love Park near City Hall, was donated by Graduate School of Fine Arts Overseer Jeffrey Loria and his wife, Sivia. "LOVE" first appeared at 36th Street and Locust Walk, across from the Psi Upsilon fraternity house, last week. It stands on the spot formerly occupied by Tony Smith's "We Lost." According to Penn officials, "We Lost" has suffered extensive weather damage, especially around its base, and has been removed from the spot to undergo repairs. "We Lost" has been at Penn since 1967, and for decades students have sat upon the large black sculpture to eat their lunches or take a rest in the summer heat. Executive Vice President John Fry said that although "LOVE" is now a permanent piece of the University's campus art, it may only remain at its new spot temporarily until a campus-wide review of Penn's public artwork is completed. Fry said that University officials reasoned, "This is a terrific spot, why don't we try the 'LOVE' here, see how we like it, and have the 'We Lost' renovated." Although "LOVE" is currently being used as a temporary replacement for "We Lost," facilities officials said that the future of the two statues have not yet been decided. University officials announced last April that they would create a new campus development plan to outline new architectural and landscaping plans for campus. "All artwork and sculptures are currently being evaluated on where [they] should go," said Financial Director of Facilities Services Mina Fader. According to Fader, when the restoration of "We Lost" is complete, there is no guarantee that it will occupy its old position on College Green. The position of both statues and all other artwork on campus will be reconsidered to fit with the new development plan once it has been finalized. Fry said that he would not be surprised if "LOVE" found itself a permanent home on the Green. "We thought 'LOVE' would look terrific on that spot," Fry said. Students and faculty seem confused as to why "LOVE" was chosen as a replacement. "I think its kind of cool and also kind of corny," said College senior Bikila Ochoa. "I kind of wonder why they put it right on College Green, what the message is supposed to be to us -- besides the obvious." Others felt that the statue did not belong at Penn. "It's a copy of what's downtown, and I think its disgusting," said College senior Josh Croll. "Its kind of tacky," College junior Jon Sell agreed. "I think they should set it on fire and put it on top of the high rises." But overall the reaction was mixed. Some students couldn't make up their minds what to think about "LOVE." "I love it and hate it at the same time," said College junior Victor Chien. And some faculty members seemed to like the sculpture on campus. "I like the sculpture and the fact that its a reproduction doesn't cause me any pain," said Dining Services employee Harmon Bryen. "Its a work of art, and as a work of art, it makes me feel good." The creation of the campus development plan was announced in April by University officials. A steering committee and five individual working committees composed of faculty and staff members were appointed to examine areas of concern around Penn's physical campus. Summer Pennsylvanian news editor Karlene Hanko contributed to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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