River of Leaves
Texas State University at San Marcos
20’ x 65’ x 20’
When I was doing the research for this commission I came across an image of the San Marcos River that was a photograph of leaves floating on the surface of the river. It was different from all the other images of the San Marcos River that I had found. It’s a beautiful image and it gave me the idea for a mobile for this space: a winding river made of floating and gently turning shapes signifying leaves and water. In the photo the leaves are all shades of green and tan. They overlap and point in different directions yet they seem to move together.
The image of hundreds of leaves slowly turning and appearing to float down a curving river feels like an apt metaphor for a university, and particularly the lounge of a university dormitory. The college experience is the river and the students are the leaves. The leaves are unique, turning at their own speeds, but moving together around the bends and obstacles that make up a university education. Moving faster in some spots and slowing down in others.
When we look back at our years at college our classmates are just as much a part of our education as the professors and the school itself. Being a part of something larger than our selves gives our lives shape and purpose. Being one of many and having one’s classmates moving in the same direction is the quintessential college experience. The daily and nightly contact afforded by living on campus in a dorm further solidifies those bonds.