Art Exhibit Celebrating Liberty Opens in Dudley House

Art admirers who packed into Dudley House Common room last night soaked in a multimedia tour of the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon River and the Olympic Games.

Those who missed it need not worry. "Between Form and Freedom," a thematic art exhibit in celebration of liberty which opened last night, will remain at Harvard for another two months.

The exhibit consists of seven sculptures by Greg Wyatt, a resident sculptor at the St. John's cathedral in New York, and 29 paintings by Ivonne A-Baki, the Dudley House artist in residence and consul of Ecuador.

Her paintings depict scenes such as the Amazon River and Galapagos Islands and concepts such as social injustice in abstract form.

Last night, art gazers were also treated to the music of Ivan Tcherepnin, director of the Harvard Electronic Music Studio. Tcherepnin's music was composed to fit in with three of A-Baki's pieces.

Outside Dudley House, curious students are already noticing the outdoor portion of the exhibit which consists of three of Wyatt's sculptures.

"We were just talking about how we hope they stay here," said Matthew F. Delmont '00. "It adds flavor."

Unfortunately for Delmont, the outdoor sculptures will leave when the exhibit packs its bags at the end of May. But a committee spearheaded by Dudley House Master Dan Fisher is considering the possibility of erecting permanent sculptures in the Yard, said Administrator of Dudley House Susan Zawalich.

"We hope to have more sculptures in the Yard and keep them forever," A-Baki said.

A-Baki added that she hopes placing the sculptures in such a public place will build community support for the arts.

Wyatt said he could envision Harvard Yard with more sculptures as long as scholars were consulted so as to maintain the Yard's decor. "One [place for sculptures] is Dudley Plaza. It's certainly a very public one. There's a lot of breathing room," he said.

Observers outside Dudley House did not all agree.

"They don't really fit this place," said one Cantabrigian who asked not to be identified. "I don't really think it adds life."

The outdoor sculptures--the "Unbound Slave," "Spirit of the Dance" and "Bill of Rights Eagle" each depict freedom in their own particular way.

Those drawn by the outdoor sculptures will find plenty more art indoors. One of Wyatt's indoor sculptures is the model for the "Olympic Woman," the nine foot golden leafed sculpture stationed in Atlanta for the Games. The models for the sculpture were Jackie Joyner Kersey and Shannon Miller.

The majority of the exhibition, however, is comprised of A-Baki's paintings which, she said, are intended to express the feeling of freedom.

A-Baki says her work falls into two categories. She said her work originally reflected her belief that freedom was an external ideal, and she painted on topics such as women's rights.

Then she said she realized that freedom is something found within the self and began to paint more abstractly.

"It's not something you can express with words," A-Baki said of her art. "It's just a feeling.