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An 'umbrella garden' sprouts on Fun Day

April 30, 2013

An ‘umbrella garden’ sprouts on Fun Day


Buy 400 children’s umbrellas in a variety of colors. Stick them in the ground like flowers on the sloping east lawn of the Tang Museum. Name the work Umbrella Garden.

That’s the idea that Greg Amoresano ’13 proposed for the “What’s the Big Idea” class taught by Catherine Hill, F. William Harder Professor of Management and Business. With “hugely helpful” counsel from Professor of Art John Cunningham, some Harder funding, and assistance from friends Elena Scott ’13 and Lyle Stephenson ‘15, Amoresano implemented his plan early Saturday morning, just in time for Fun Day.

Amoresano, a management and business major and studio art minor, had designed the installation with the idea that visitors would walk through it and paint pictures or messages on white umbrellas he had placed among the colored one. Instead, students plucked most of the umbrellas and used them as parasols and replanted them elsewhere.

That was fine with Amoresano.

“Interactive art serves its purpose when viewers engage with it,” he says. “I made the umbrella garden what it was, but the students decided what it was going to become, and that, I think, is what makes this kind of work so exciting.”

By deploying his installation on Fun Day, Amoresano hopes that he’ll set a precedent.  “Fun Day should be a time for exploration and creativity as well as for celebration,” he says.

Environmental Studies major Eric Stumpf ’13 filmed the creation of the work and its reception by students. Winner of the 2013 CTM Video Contest and the recipient of this year’s Elizabeth Marie Glotzbach Film Industry Award, he’ll be working in New York City after graduation with two video production firms, Green Card Pictures and Already Alive. 

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