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Despite the threat of thunderstorms, the "Art on Wheels" tour went ahead as planned on the evening of July 11, as a group of graduate students on bikes and in-line skates set out to see what they could of MIT's extensive collection of public art.
David Freilach, administrative officer at the List Visual Arts Center, looked ready for a good workout on in-line skates as he led the group around campus, stopping to talk about the history and the concepts behind the art.
Supported by funds from graduate student life fees, the tour was meant to be a fun activity for graduate students who are on campus this summer. "We just thought people would think it was a hoot," said Freilach, who handed out Gatorade and Clif bars at the start of the tour -- in lieu of wine and cheese.
With the tour on wheels, the group could see such works as the new Sarah Sze installation on the Sidney-Pacific Graduate Residence, which would be out of range for a tour on foot. The group of 14 MIT graduate students and one professor, most of them on bikes, saw almost half of MIT's collection of more than 40 works of public art.
This week's tour was the third since last summer, and the only one planned for this academic year. Right now, the rolling tours are intended for graduate students, although one tour was held for incoming freshman last fall.
"We'd like to expand it to reach a broader audience," said Hiroko Kikuchi, Education/Outreach Coordinator for the List Center.
"It's pretty amazing that a technical place like MIT really works to bring artwork to the students," said tour organizer Stacie Bumgarner, a graduate student in biology and a volunteer at the List Center. Other students said they were happy to learn something about the art they see every day.
Having the art on campus "spices things up a little bit," Aaron Schmidt said.
A public walking tour of campus artwork, led by List Center Curator Bill Arning, will take place on July 20 at 6 p.m. For more information, visit the arts events calendar at web.mit.edu/arts, or call David Freilach at x3-5076.