Student Finds “Beauty in Destruction”

Written by: Ryan Frascella

On Tuesday, Tyler School of Art student Ellen Virkkunen took it upon herself to beautify the construction fencing outside of where Barton Hall used to stand on Norris Street. She created a project with a mix of metal, glass, and delicate green plants which she then attached to the fencing. The project that she created was for her sculpture class where they were tasked with building a lawn ornament.

“I wanted to show how there could be growth through the destruction, now its such an ugly scene with the hall going down, but there is going to be something put up that is much beautiful and better,” Virkkunen said.

Virkkunen told me that she has a love for plants and that was another reason it inspired her to make the creation that she did.

“I’m always growing them in my house, so I wanted to do a project based off of that in sculpture when we were asked to do a lawn ornament,” Virkkunen said.

Aside from her love for plants, Virkkunen had other reasons to be proud of her creation.

“I am actually in glassblowing as well, so I blew the glass bubbles that the clippings are in, as well as I used metal to make the frames with welding and then the plants are my own plants that I’ve been growing,” Virkkunen said.

Everyone in the class created their own decorations which were then critiqued by other members of the class. One member of the class had this to say to Virkkunen during her critique.

“I think how delicate this is is really interesting. I barely registered at first that you used glass. The fact that you made these glass balls and they’re just hanging on by a thread, that’s really cool.”

Professor Jude Tallichet who oversaw the projects offered a similar observation of Virkkunen’s artwork.

“I love it because its such a giant scale and then this super soft, sweet, scale but yet it still has some earthy elements,” Tallichet said.

Even though a lot of the buildings are undergoing construction, Virkkunen shows that there can be something beautiful that emerges amidst all of the rubble.


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