Orange leaves drift unashamedly over a crowd of standing bodies, with every eye focused on the rusted brown bars of Andrew Wilson’s “Back Porch”.
(Back Porch - Cole Hatcher)
The morning of October second was one of recognition for the art installation. The group of attendees was a diverse one, made up of current students, alumni, artists, and people in awe of
Standing fourteen-feet-tall, “Back Porch” is a representation of OWU’s House Of Black Culture. The installation serves as a “way to honor” the importance of the space where, as Wilson put it, students could be “both highly visible and invisible,”.
Erin Fletcher, the director of the Ross Art Museum, said she felt the sculpture is significant to OWU’s campus, “because it memorializes, honors, and acknowledges the importance of Black Lives at Ohio Wesleyan and beyond,” and acknowledged that it was the “first public art piece” to focus on Black lives on campus. She expressed her hopes for a more inclusive future at Ohio Wesleyan, in a similar fashion with students who attended the dedication.
“I really love the piece,” says freshman Lillie Coates, “I think it contributes to the atmosphere of OWU beautifully,”. The sentiment seems to be common among students. Although Ohio Wesleyan University has room for improvement, the “Back Porch” and its importance to OWU’s community is a vital step towards inclusivity on campus.