New sculpture to serve as hang out

Tarble Art Center Assistant Director Mike Schuetz secures a support beam on a sculpture outside Tarble Art Center Wednesday. When the piece is complete, people will be able to sit at the picnic tables located on each of the four platforms.

Kalyn Hayslett, Editor-in-Chief


The “Tarble Arts Tables” sculpture next to the Tarble Arts Center will be finished by Sept. 11.

The interactive sculpture will feature five staggered porches.

Assistant Director Mike Schuetz said students seeing the sculpture’s construction facing Ninth Street ignited student’s curiosity and anticipation.

“A lot of students have stopped by and asked what’s going on, so that’s exciting,” Schuetz said.

Jerome Leslie, junior elementary education major, said the thought of another sculpture on campus serves as a symbol of hope for Eastern.

“I think there is a lot of fear about (how) the college is going to close so seeing them build something new is reassuring,” Leslie said.

Jessica Gomez, a sophomore early childhood education major, said the timing of the new sculpture quiets all the closing rumors.

“If we have money to build a sculpture then there is no way we are going to close,” Gomez said.

The “Tarble Arts Table” sculpture is a part of artist Heather Heart’s porch project, which began in 2015.

Made primarily of wood, screws and brackets, each level will have a table and bench open to community members.

Both Tarble Arts Center staff members and Eastern carpenters will help complete the artist’s vision.

The porches have a more complex shape and more angles than the average house porch, which makes the building process more intricate, Schuetz said.

“All of these are pentagon shapes so we are dealing with angles all the way,” Schuetz said. “The posts are set at the points of the pentagon. So the table and ribbons carry the prevailing shape.”

Above all of the porches there will be a pentagon shaped awning that will provide shade and protection from the rain.

Schuetz said even though the construction is an extensive process, the weather has been an unexpected ally with limited rain.

Ciarra Peoples, junior sociology and Africana studies major, said students will utilize the space more by socializing, talking, eating and meeting once the sculpture is built.

“It’s meant to be a sculpture where students meet and hang out. My hope is that students take ownership of it,” Schuetz said. “It’s partially left open so the community can decide what to do with.”

According to, the artist’s purpose of the sculpture is to provide community members a place to come together and build relationships.

“This Porch Project is a space to consider and challenge the evolving socio-political landscape at this intersection of our community,” the website said. “It takes the lunchroom phenomenon of self-segregation as a starting point for the project, reserving a place for communication among neighbors.”

Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].