This semester, the Harvard University Committee on the Arts (HUCA) welcomed students, faculty, and staff back to campus with six commissions from seven contemporary artists across various disciplines. The projects create unique opportunities to explore Harvard, in locations ranging from the Yard to the Arboretum to the ArtLab, through dance, visual art, music, and more.
“Over the last decade or so, we’ve transformed the role of the arts here at Harvard, and one of the ways that we’ve done that is through collaborative relationships with visiting artists,” said Robin Kelsey, HUCA co-chair and Harvard’s dean of arts and humanities. “This particular array of artists gives us a chance to demonstrate just how transformative these relationships can be. They are a remarkable group, with very distinctive practices and approaches. And what unites them is that they’re all deeply engaged with the issues of our time, with questions of justice, of the social fabric, and with how we revitalize our communities.”
Four of the artists who left their marks on Harvard’s campuses are Timothy Hall, who created audio plays, movement meditations, and pop-up performances at the Arboretum; Tomashi Jackson, whose vibrant banners depicting Civil Rights activists animated the Yard; Nailah Randall-Bellinger, who created “Initiation — In Love Solidarity,” a choreographic narrative exploring the reclamation of Black identity; and Jordan Weber, whose sculpture at the ArtLab memorializes the ongoing trauma Black and indigenous communities suffer, and includes an excerpt from Harvard graduate Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb.”