If the sun is shining, the sculpture “Silver Screen” lights up the quad in front of the Art and Media Center. It seems alive, shifting and reaching, playing out some elegant dance. Its creator, faculty member Larry Pollans (history department), explains that the sculpture is two planes that come together at a right angle, and in light, the two planes dissolve. You lose a sense of figures arranged in a flat plane. Instead, light activates the forms and gives them tension within an implied space. “That makes it exciting, before you know what you’re looking at,” Mr. Pollans says.
Mr. Pollans, who teaches Art History as well as other history courses, points out that the two-plane screen is within the Picasso-Matisse tradition. Contours of the individual figures on the screen are simplified, even slightly distorted. They feel primitive, not classical. Mr. Pollans joined the Milton faculty in 1985, and he has always been a practicing artist as well as a teacher of history. He has created other screens, but none this large.
“Silver Screen” is 300 pounds of luminous, uncoated aluminum. Mr. Pollans began with a drawing and mat board cutout of his idea, then with architects’ software scaled it up so that a plasma cutter could read it. He redrew some details, and when he was satisfied, sent the drawing to a plasma cutting company in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Directed by the software program, saws positioned above a sheet of aluminum fastened to a big, flat bed of rollers, do their work and subtract aluminum to reveal the forms. The piece has “lived” in an atrium of an office building until recently; it will ultimately be an outdoor sculpture at a private home in Maine.
Opportunities for everyone to enjoy art outdoors, in this case Mr. Pollans’s “Sliver Screen,” will recur regularly, thanks to an initiative extending the Nesto Gallery exhibition program. Launched this year by Ian Torney, visual arts department chair, outdoor art at Milton began with Donna Dodson’s “Seagull Cinderella” last fall. Sculptor Rob Lorenson will show five large works in front of the Art and Media Center during the upcoming school year. “The pea stone courtyard outside the building lends itself naturally as a sculpture display area,” Mr. Torney says, and sculpture there will signal the purpose of the building. Rob Lorenson’s work will herald the ‘new’ AMC, highlighting significant upgrades slated for this summer that will bring together all aspects of the visual arts program within this campus center.