By William Henke | Staff Writer
Last year you may have noticed the peculiar statue titled Blending In, by Coeur d’Alene artist Allen Dodge, make its appearance in the loop. Approachably nicknamed “Buc the Buccaneer,” this anthropomorphized deer wielding a cellphone and coffee is here to stay.
“We wanted you to know that he can be approached,” says Stacey Moo, current overseer and curator for the Whitworth art collection. Students are encouraged to ponder and get near the statue as long as they “Cuddle, Don’t Climb!”
But why is Buc on campus? “He fits into our campus so well. He reminds us of the ‘place’ in which Whitworthians are blessed to study and work,” says Moo.
“There has to be a place for whimsy,” says Tad Wisenor, long-time Whitworth Art Committee member. This statement and the addition of Blending In align with the Art Committee’s goal to “enhance the visual richness of the buildings and lawns of campus through the acquisition and installation of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other works of art that will add to those spaces in which we work, walk, and study.”
The Whitworth campus becomes an even more beautiful place to learn and grow through the acquisition of artwork. This is a way for Whitworth to give back to the community since the art collection “particularly focuses on acquiring art from Pacific Northwest artists, particularly artists from our local area,” says Moo.
These purchases are funded in two different ways. The first is through the use of endowed funds which are used annually for purchasing new art and for maintaining the existing collection. The second is from various staff, alumni and friends who regularly support departmental art purchases.
With the hustle and bustle of classes, homework, TikTok and Instagram, “perhaps [Buc] will make us think twice about our preoccupation with our technology, and we will decide to keep our heads up and greet each other on The Hello Walk, truly seeing those−our community−around us,” says Moo.
Want to peruse the Whitworth Art Collection? Click here for more information.