Last Wednesday, staff from McGill’s Visual Arts Collection got on the 8:30 a.m. shuttle bus to Macdonald campus, where we installed five artworks across two classrooms in the Raymond Building. This installation was the most recent in our Art in Classrooms initiative, an ongoing collaboration with Teaching and Learning Services. The Art in Classrooms initiative is itself a part of the Visual Arts Collection’s larger Curated Spaces initiative, which seeks to enliven the McGill campus through the public display of art. Other installations of Art in Classrooms can be found on the downtown campus in both the Leacock and Education buildings.
The artworks installed in the Raymond Building’s classrooms feel, in some ways, like they belong at Macdonald campus. The works all interpret nature in one way or another, bringing the outdoors in through art. Roses and Trogir (Fig. 1) by Canadian printmaker John Snow, recall, for example, the beautiful gardens just south of the Raymond Building, near McEwen Field. In Heart, a colour etching by Joseph Drapell (Fig. 2), the Czech-Canadian artist offers an abstract interpretation of the interior of a tree stump, a subject which I’m sure many students at Mac campus know well.
All of these artworks beautifully represent subjects in the natural world that are themselves beautiful. This beauty is readily accessible at Mac campus, where students and staff need only step outdoors and walk around. Even if you don’t have classes at Mac campus, it is worth the shuttle trip out, both to see these artworks and to enjoy the beautiful grounds. I especially recommend going during the upcoming apple picking season, so that you can enjoy all the fruits that McGill’s Macdonald campus has to offer!
–Written by Rosalind Sweeney-McCabe, Museum Database Assistant, Visual Arts Collection