Christo speaks at campus forum
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 00:09
A crowd of students, faculty and fans of art flocked to Bennett Auditorium at the University of Southern Mississippi to listen to artist Christo present a lecture Wednesday night. Everything from bow ties to nose rings could be seen on the attendees standing outside two hours before the event. Hardly a seat was available by 6:30 p.m. when the lecture began.
“We bring the world to you,” said Dr. Alen Hajnal, assistant psychology professor and University Forum director.
“I am amazed and grateful the university was able to get an artist of his fame,” Yolanda Cruz, a broadcast journalism major, said. “I studied him in middle school.”
Christo stepped on to the stage to applause. After a short tribute to his deceased wife Jeanne Claude, he went straight into the nuts and bolts of his work. Christo took the audience through his timeline, which spanned decades. He touched on such issues as selling one’s art, self-funding projects, how do deal with land and trespassing laws and, most importantly, his new projects. After a 45-minute presentation, the floor was opened for questions.
“My excitement is to see the excitement of this many people waiting outside the auditorium fifteen minutes before they even open the doors,” said Randy Jolly, a 1979 USM graduate who now serves as the director of Mississippi College’s Samuel Marshal Gore Art. “To see within five minutes over half of the auditorium filled, it’s really amazing. To have this caliber of artist speaking and showing in Mississippi, our students can get this, and it’s so nice to have it. That’s why we insisted on bringing a group down.”
On Tuesday, Christo also lectured at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel. His exhibit there houses a collection of 90 examples of sketches of his works as well as photos of his finished projects. This exhibit will be open until Oct. 5. For more information, visit lrma.org.
Information about Christo and his body of work is available at http://www.christojeanneclaude.net.