James Gray, vice president for campus operations, wrote to The Brandeis Hoot that he oversaw “the design and construction” of Skyline, which is how he got involved with picking out the two main art pieces within the residence hall. Multiple other people were involved, including Luis Croquer, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum.
Students and faculty alike are in awe of the building itself, but very few people acknowledge the art inside of the building. These two works are meant to enrich the building’s appearance and were very carefully chosen.
The first piece, “Great Island Bar” (1985), was gifted to the Rose by Henry and Lois Foster. It was made by Roger Kizik. It is displayed within the residence hall side of the building in the main lobby and was picked out by Croquer and Gray himself.
“We were looking first for a work that was the right size for the spot but also had visual interest and a variety of colors that worked well with the interiors of the lobby space. We also wanted to highlight a local artist if we could and a local focus for the painting (Massachusetts seaside). Given those criteria, this piece was the one we ended up picking. We are, by the way, very grateful to Lois and the Rose for allowing this artwork to be used in the building.”
The other piece, displayed in the Commons side of the building in the main hallway, is titled “Boston Skyline Abstract Antique” (2014). It was created “by a Serbian artist named Bekim Mehovic,” Gray wrote to The Hoot. This piece was picked out by Dan Feldman, Brandeis’ Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research, “who is an accomplished artist in his own right,” according to Gray. Gray was also involved with picking this piece out.
“We wanted a work of art showing the Boston Skyline, as it was thematically consistent with the actual view of the skyline one has from the building, as well as the name of the project. We chose this print from a number of different artistic portrayals of the Boston skyline that we considered because we thought it was interesting in that it combined a bird’s-eye ‘map-like’ view of the city with the skyline view,” Gray said.
Skyline is beautiful from the outside, but it is worth taking a peek inside to see the thoughtfully-placed art pieces.