According to Sculpture I and II students, Lecturer of Art John Bisbee oft-repeated mantra this semester has been: "Let the material tell you what it wants to do." Sculpture I and II students will exhibit their work tonight at Fort Andross.

The students of Sculpture I have collaborated on a masking tape installation for their exhibition. The usually-empty gallery space has been transformed into a maze of different forms of the tape. Some areas of the space are filled with some translucent white sheets of the material, while tape stalactites hang from the ceiling in others.

According to Bisbee, the purpose of the project is to "translate the space with as wide a vocabulary that can be formed from masking tape."

"We have taken a material that is inherently not good-looking and have learned how to fill a space with it in an interesting and beautiful way," said Oliver Klingenstein '15.

Students said the experience of creating the installation was rewarding, and that much of what they learned came out of their struggles with the material.

"You learn how to work through frustration," said Devin Hardy '13. "Essentially, you need to not get mad that the tape doesn't do what you want, and instead, do what the tape wants."

While the students in Sculpture II will exhibit individual projects, their work has been similarly guided by the properties of their materials.

"On the first day of class, Bisbee made us write down 500 materials that we felt like we could work with for an entire semester," said Anna Ackerman '12. "We narrowed those down to seven and then with his help, picked a material."

Ackerman's piece is composed of hundreds of tea bags glued together in an abstract bulbous shape in a pattern reminiscent of honeycomb. The viewer may not even recognize what material she used to create the large work without leaning in and taking a whiff of its scent.

Another Sculpture II student, Danica Loucks '13, also decided to work with dining hall discards, stacking broken egg shells one on top of another into mounds.

"I have worked at Thorne ever since I got to Bowdoin," said Loucks. "I wanted to see what egg shells could look like when you play with them rather than just throwing them away."

The dining halls have collected about 160-dozen egg shells per week for Loucks over the past 13 weeks.

In using everyday materials as artistic media, Bisbee's students have explored the many forms a medium can take. In the process, some students have discovered new ways in which they themselves can be defined.

Although Jordan Lalor '12—a member of the men's hockey team—originally wanted to use hockey sticks as his material for the Sculpture II project, he ultimately decided against bringing his extracurricular interests to bear on his art.

"Until you work with a material, you don't know what it can become," he said.

Bisbee's classes will display their work from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight in the basement of Fort Andross.