September 28, 2016

Art student constructs wooden car in parking lot

CHELSIE HOLLIS | The Journal

CHELSIE HOLLIS | The Journal

Students and faculty pulling into Lot H Monday may have noticed a dome of green in one of the parking spots by the Art Department. Caitlin Isgriggs made an instillation for her Intermediate Drawing class where she had been instructed by her professor Lyndon Barrois to engage directly with the lived environment.

The idea to construct her project in a parking space came to her when thinking about how she spends about ten hours a week driving to and from school from Imperial. She also thought about how people view those parking spaces. Isgriggs did not park in the lot that Monday, instead her instillation was considered her car.

“I did pay for a parking spot this year and people got mad because of how I was using it,” Isgriggs said. “If my car had been there they wouldn’t have gotten upset, but they did because it wasn’t a car.”

Professor Barrois thinks Isgriggs raised some interesting social questions about the natural versus built environment and the attitudes about how space is supposed to be used.

“​My first reaction was to question whether or not a parking spot was there,” Barrois said. “That really speaks to how well the space was transformed. I, as a person who chooses not to own a car, appreciated such a gesture in a very car-centric society.​”

It took Isgriggs six hours to construct the piece she calls “Lot H” on Sunday night. Isgriggs used mostly natural materials that she found at the back of the parking lot by the fence, some of which were tree branches, rocks, leaves, twigs, and to her surprise, a soggy boot.

In Professor Barrois’ opinion, the critique from her classmates were quite favorable. Isgriggs’s friend Kaitlin Wilfing, along with many other students in the Art Department were supportive, even though Isgriggs was told that people had been cursing at it.

“I thought it was brilliant and I loved every bit of it,” Wilfing said.

Isgriggs took the wooden car down Monday night and received help from a student walking in the lot. She put all of the materials back where she found them and made a small moss garden that she plans on watering.

During the piece’s critique Monday evening Isgriggs sat in her constructed car and invited other students to join her. Many of Isgriggs’s other art installations have also been interactive.
“It was really fun making it,” Isgriggs said. “I got more of a response than I thought I would.”

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