May 9, 2007

Collegetown 'Tree Sculpture' Removed

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The Cornell grounds department removed the art installation outside of Sheldon Hall yesterday. Part of the installation caught fire on April 22, but the fire was quickly extinguished by a passing Ithaca police officer. The Ithaca Fire Department said at the time that the fire had probably not started on its own.
There were fears that the installation could be set on fire again if an individual was determined enough, despite having been treated with extra fire retardant, according to Simeon Moss, Cornell press relations director.
Cornell Council for the Arts commissioned the installation, which was made up of six individual structures that resemble tree trunks. Artist Patrick Dougherty designed and completed the project, which is made of maple and dogwood saplings and branches from the Cornell Plantations and other local sources, in September. According to Moss, CCA made the decision to remove the installation.
When the installation — titled “Half a Dozen of the Other” — first went up, students had mixed opinions on the sculpture. Some believed it was nice to have an art installation located at the entrance to Collegetown, while others thought that it was eye-sore and interrupted the open area in front of Sheldon Court.
Milton Curry, director of CCA, told The Sun on April 23 that the installation would remain in place through August.
Click here for The Sun’s coverage of the fire or here for more about the installation.