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campus scene

Sovereignty after the Soviets
Prof. Kate Graney on Russian federalism
Expert opinion: Home audio with Jill  Linz
Faculty farewells Linke, Mensing, Partha, Miller
Art, work, and chance Raffle-ticket creativity
Plugging into "Unplugged" Dorms compete to save energy
Teammates from abroad Sports as universal language
Kids of Survival on view Vandals or Van Goghs?
Faculty honored with endowed chairs Anzalone, Brueggemann, Leavitt, O'Brien, Pfitzer, Sattler
Scholarly smorgasbord Talking ecophobia, Crackberries, and Eros
Sportswrap Winter sports highlights

Art, work, and chance

When is a raffle a work of art? When it’s part of a series by Skidmore artist Margo Mensing—and when the prize goes by chance to the perfect recipient.

For a faculty exhibit last fall, Mensing’s artworks included a raffle for an expense-paid trip to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, featuring a tour guided by Walker curatorial fellow Daniel Byers ’03. The highlight: Donald Judd’s famous 1971 work consisting of five cobalt-blue aluminum cubes, on view through July. The raffle was part of a Judd installment in Mensing’s Dead at… series, in which each year she creates art about a famous person who died at her current age. Judd was 66 when he died in 1994. Previous Dead at artworks focused on the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Walt Disney. Mensing’s pieces last fall were comments on Judd’s sculpture and methods, using clay, cloth, paper, woven willow, and building materials.

When Michael Mohan, a night custodian in the Saisselin Art Building, saw Mensing’s works, he was inspired to buy in: He plunked down $10 for a 1-in-150 chance at the museum trip. And he was delighted (as was Mensing) when his ticket was drawn as the winner. He plans to make the trip this spring. After working his night shift, Mohan typically spends the morning in Saisselin’s ceramics studio. He has taken courses—just “for en­tertainment,” he says —in jewelry-making and ceramics and plans to take other art courses, followed by studies in English, Italian, psychology, philosophy… Mohan figures, “I’ve got plenty of time. This is a work in progress.” —BM, SR