Anyone wanting to learn more about the sculptures around the campus now has a new guide.
Students in Lex Lancaster’s contemporary art class have designed an audio tour that can be accessed by scanning a QR code positioned in front of each sculpture. Listeners learn about the work, things the artist may have said about it, and details about how it came to USC Upstate.
The class actually completed the work in fall of 2019, and the audio has been up online for more than a year, but the pandemic and other issues delayed the signs’ installation until recently, Lancaster says.
The tour was a chance for students to explore art beyond research papers, Lancaster says. “If there’s a way that I can get my students to do something that is unusual, or different, or something that allows them to engage with things that are more immediate or relevant, then that’s the ideal,” says Lancaster, who is also director of USC Upstate’s art galleries.
Each student was allowed to pick the sculpture they wanted to focus on, so there are currently 10 stops on the tour. Beyond giving students ownership in the campus environment, the tour also benefits the university community at large, Lancaster notes.
“It’s inviting the campus to not just engage with the visual art as a passive wallpaper, but to understand that it’s this dynamic thing that has a history and connects with our culture and our region.”