my pathway experience

Art in the Landscape

Andrew Silverberg '10, a Business Administration major from Shrewsbury, Mass., discusses his Pathway, “Art in the Landscape,” led by Fine and Performing Arts Professor Loretta Barnett. Pathways, the foundation of Colby-Sawyer's Liberal Education Program, are a group of theme-based, interdisciplinary seminars that students choose for their first and second years. In the First-Year Seminar of Art in the Landscape, the students explore the basic elements of design and the vocabulary necessary for understanding sculptural form and landscape design. In the Sophomore Seminar, they explore topics such as the politics and protocols of creating art in the landscape, public art-parks, malls, cemeteries as monuments and memorials and in gardens.

Why did you choose this Pathway, and what are some of the important things you've learned through the course?

I have always had an interest in landscaping and landscape architecture. My father is an avid gardener, and his love for the hobby influenced me throughout my childhood. I figured that getting a new perspective on landscape would be interesting, especially looking at it as art.

This Pathway has taught me to look at things in a more open-minded way, instead of the black-and-white way that many business students see the world.

Pathways are designed as theme-based and interdisciplinary. What do you see as some of the major themes discussed in the course?

The theme was really landscape, or nature as art. It's about how people can look at the landscape in a more artistic way, which opens the way for people to view things from many perspectives.

Please describe some of the resources used in the class.

We went to many estates to look at the landscapes, such as The Fells here in New Hampshire, and Naumkeag and The Mount in Massachusetts. We also watched many videos about artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, and Christo and Jeanne Claude. Viewing these showed different perspectives on this new type of art called Earthworks.

What kinds of projects have you completed for the course?

We each had to do a presentation on a specific landscape designer and describe his or her view on Earthworks.

We also had to create many landscape drawings of the Colby-Sawyer campus that we thought could be designed better, offering a different perspective on the layout of the area. We had to choose one of our drawings and create a 3-D model of it.

The name “Pathway” suggests a journey. How has the course, and you and your classmates, evolved from one year to the next?

Students in this Pathway have evolved from one year to the next by expanding their minds and broadening their horizons to a new level of thinking. I think this Pathway has helped me see things in a more open-minded way. It was definitely a good choice.