Students travel to see Christo’s ‘The Gates’ in NYC

Michelle Thrasher

They may not look like gates, but the enormous orange sculptures are drawing crowds just the same. Last week, the university’s art department planned a free trip to New York City to see “The Gates,” a free art exhibit that has been more than two years in the making.

“The Gates” were created by renowned artists Jeanne- Claude and Christo, who are known for eccentric use of fabric in their artwork. Each of the 16-feet-high gates consisted of two square poles with free-hanging, saffron-colored fabric panels, and spanned 23 miles of pathway in Central Park.

“I thought the concept of ‘The Gates’ was unique, especially since it was placed in Central Park. It brought a lot of attention to the park during a season that most people would not visit it,” junior Heather Cote said.

They varied in width from 5’6″ to 18 feet and were set up in 12-foot intervals, where they could be clearly seen through the bare trees.

“I liked ‘The Gates.’ I thought the color was great and it was a very creative way to decorate central park,” junior Sarah-Jane Bolling said.

Adjunct Art Professor, Susan Farricielli, who organized the trip, wanted students to have the chance to experience the sculptures first-hand.

“Seeing ‘The Gates’ is a once in a lifetime event in Central Park,” she said. “Christo’s work is only shown temporarily. The park was filled with spectators from all over the world. It was a great opportunity to see Christo’s work in real life.”

Six hundred uniformed monitors were hired to protect the display. They assisted the public and gave information about “The Gates.” One student thought that the monitors were the best part.

“My favorite thing about ‘The Gates’ was the gate monitors who had sticks with tennis balls on them so you could spot them in a crowd,” junior, Marci Abrahms said. “They had fun little facts and gave out swatches of the fabric used in ‘The Gates.'”