Have you seen the new sculpture next to the Williams Center for the Arts?
This piece of art is called “Black Lightning” and it was created in 1984 by Ronald Bladen, a famous New York artist, and a pioneer of minimalism. The sculpture’s purpose is to complement the adjacent building, Williams Center for the Arts, with its play on light, shadow, and space by using simple shape and painted steel.
But the main purpose of the sculpture lies within the college itself.
Lafayette College, a liberal arts college in Easton, Pa, is well-known for its engineering program. In fact, it has just been ranked 39th in national liberal arts colleges. When I applied to Lafayette, I noticed that it was ranked one of the top 10 undergraduate engineering schools in the nation.
The reason why the college was ranked so high is because of its unique combination of liberal arts and engineering. Here, engineers are required to take at least 5 humanities and social science courses, in which depth and breadth are a requirement. This would mean that engineers will not only be challenged in rational thinking, but in critical thinking and creativity as well.
The college’s purpose for sculpture is to promote the freedom of expression and creativity here on campus. By having this statue, the college showed physically that liberal arts is a significant idea to the campus and that it is important to be well rounded, not just as an engineer, but as an artist, historian, mathematician…
And I am proud to say that now, I am an engineer who is well rounded; an engineer who can write both technically and creatively; an engineer who can think outside the box, and within limits; and most importantly, an engineer who can look at a piece of sculpture and realize its importance within a small college like Lafayette.