The magazine for Western Washington University

No Head for Thinking

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Marybeth Coghill

It’s easy to see why this impromptu artwork caught Marybeth Coghill’s attention. Coghill, 20, was strolling along the brick walkway in front of the Fine Arts building last fall when she spotted the bent-wire sculpture of the headless man. A few passers-by peeked inside, checking out the wire infrastructure, she says. Others wondered if anyone was inside.

Coghill, a Studio Art – Photography major shooting this quarter for the student magazine “The Planet,” often sees finished pieces and works-in-progress around the art building. But most aren’t this big, she says, or placed right in the middle of the walkway.

She didn’t know who did the sculpture, but the paint cans and tool box made Coghill think of “the workers we don’t see at night, behind the scenes, taking care of the school.”

That’s what Patrick Newlin, a Studio Art major, was thinking, too, when he created the sculpture for a one-day project in Associate Art Professor Sebastian Mendes’ class. The sculpture was sort of a hat-tip to the country’s blue-collar workers, Newlin says.

“Most of the time,” Newlin says, “people kind of take for granted all the people who hold our system together.”