Insulated. Camelot. Silver spoon. Private. Cloistered. Reed is at best a complicated institution for outsiders to comprehend. Most students come from out of state and the campus ethos keeps them on campus, whether by Humanities 110 or simply peer pressure to sit down and keep drinking.

There is some public art on campus, well-meaning donations mostly. Nice set of prints, including Red Grooms and Jose Ortega next to the Commons.

The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, funded by a gift from Sue and Edward Cooley (Precision Castparts + Hillsboro Aviation, died in late 2001) and Betty and John Gray (developed Salishan in 1962) is a single room with a high ceiling, embedded in the Reed library. This month it hosts a selection of contemporary art from the Michael Ovitz Family Art Collection.

Portland Tribune goes on and on. Jeff Jahn has a tumble of words and ideas about this show over at PORT.

What else is on campus? (Now this is a veer from our stated purpose of chronicling public art – this is a private school + private art. So there. Once in a while we walkabout.)

Big lunk of a Lee Kelly off the East parking lot, a Balder before the art department. I imagine some poor Martian anthropologist trying to puzzle these things out in 1700 years. Why? Why did they venerate the piles of iron?

Ben Linder, not a Reedie except in spirit, is memorialized in a stairwell in Gray Hall. Murdered while working as an engineer on a hydroelectric dam in war-torn Nicaragua in 1987 by the CIA-funded Contras, in another world Linder’s life would be celebrated, fablized to children, and a model for any political youth.

Linder went to Adams High School in Portland. His father, David Linder, died in 1999. His mother, Elisabeth Linder, sister and brother live in Portland.

Green Empowerment was organized to carry on the work of Ben Linder.

Ben’s Legacy, by Bill Donohue of The Oregonian, 1992.

His headstone, in Matagalpa.

The Death of Ben Linder by Joan Kruckewitt is worth reading.

Back to the art. There’s a great big Michael Brophy stump landscape in the Kaul Auditorium, really stunning, it swallows up a great deal of light and attention in the room.

There’s a fierce intelligence here on campus, coupled a twisted humor / rancor of affluence which recognizes it’s triviality. Clearly the best and bright have been culled from the herd for an exceptional educational experience.

Adjoining the mailroom, tucked away behind old furniture, student Dustin Fremont memorialized Thích Quảng Ðức with an inkpad and his fingertips in 2004. Good job.

There might be healing properties in general and generous application of irony. Shake your fist. Go right ahead.

This big hunk of bronze has been here quite a while. No idea who the artist is. I can remember seeing Ken Kesey and Allen Ginsburg sitting a few yards from here, surrounded by a few thousand frolickers + adherents in 1967. Summer of Love, baby.

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