Whispering Bench Holds Deep Meaning

San Marcos, June 24,2019

Located in the center of campus, a unique and symbolic concrete bench honors the indelible impact of President Karen Haynes and First Gentleman Jim Mickelson. The art installation, built into the northwest-facing hillside along Forum Plaza, is known as a whispering bench.

Local artist Fritzie Urquhart created and donated the unnamed artwork to campus.
View article here: Whimsical Sculpture Brings Color and Sound to Campus














Three new sculptures grace library entryway











Where some people see ventilating fans, Fritzie Urquhart sees flowers. Metal pipes are just plain tubing to some people, but Urquhart knows they’re tree trunks waiting to be realized. The beauty and utility of building materials have always intrigued Urquhart, a Carlsbad artist who loves to stroll the aisles of big-box stores and imagine how all that stuff can be transformed into objects of delight. Three of her works, “Star Light, Star Bright,” “Noodles in Flight” and “Trilogee Whiz” have been installed along Carlsbad Village Drive in front of the City of Carlsbad’s Georgina Cole Library, so visitors can share in Urquhart’s quirky vision of hardware. “Star Light, Star Bright” is composed of solar-powered globes glued to steel tubing to suggest a flower. Urquhart said she bent the tubes around a tree on her front lawn to put the proper curves in them. The globes store solar energy in batteries during the day, so they glow like confused dandelions at night. “Noodles in Flight” is made up of a fence post, conduit housing for electrical wires and propeller fans. And “Trilogee Whiz” consists of ventilating fans typically seen on rooftops, but painted vivid red and attached to metal posts. “I’m intrigued by anything you can find at Home Depot that has another purpose and has some beauty,” Urquhart said. “Like ventilators, or electrical housing — it has such beauty to it even though it’s made for another purpose.” Each sculpture stands about 12 feet tall, and Urquhart has installed bells in the whirligigs so they tinkle as they spin. “I enjoy the playful aspect of creating things,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to take my art too seriously, I just want them to have fun with it.” The three pieces were originally featured in the exhibition, “Here I Come, Ready or Not!” which stood in the City of Carlsbad’s Sculpture Garden for two years. The exhibition related to games, activities and pastimes from Urquhart’s childhood. Carlsbad Arts Manager Peter Gordon said Urquhart’s three sculptures will grace the front of Cole Library for at least a year. They’ll join “Contemplation,” a bronze by T.J. Dixon. He said that including Urquhart’s three sculptures, T.J. Dixon’s piece and nine works in the sculpture garden, the city has 13 pieces on display just steps away from the library’s entrance. He said the idea is to enliven the area and make it a small destination for art. “It might be worth someone’s while, if they’re visiting Cole Library to pick up a book or DVD, to take a few steps around and visit the sculpture garden,” he said. And sometimes that stuff consists of building supplies transformed into works of whimsy. About the artist: A well-known area sculptor, Fritzie Urquhart received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio State University and her Master of Fine Arts degree from San Diego State University. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions throughout California and elsewhere, and she has been the recipient of several awards.


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