How do you continue to study sculpture when you can’t leave your homes? School of Art and Design associate professor Michael Rea and Nate Gilchrist, MFA candidate and instructor, started the remote learning portion of the semester for ARTS 361 with the seemingly simple task of having their students create a “fort.”

From his instructions to the class:

As we spend this week(s) sequestered in our homes I am reminded of sleepovers, and snow days of the past. For our first “at-home” assignment I would like you to build a “fort,” a provisional enclosure, constructed of repurposed furniture, blankets, boxes, and other household supplies. I suspect all of you have some experience with this time honored tradition, and art form.

The assignment also required the students to research the work of several artists including Andrea Zittel, Mario Merz, Hirsch Perlman, Jason Rhodes and more. Then, he asked the students to spend an hour in the fort they created writing about the experience of building it, and the experience of being in it and to express how their creation relates to one of the artists they studied. Then, they took photos of their forts and shared them on Instagram at the hashtag #niusculpture. Then, they will do digital critiques of each other’s work.

Here are just a few examples, but you can see them all on Instagram.

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