If you thought that Art Union's most recent project was completely garbage, you were right.
This week, instead of throwing out trash, Art Union invited students to create something with it.
"Gluttony," the first Art Union installation of the year, is on display outside Thorne Hall. A sign invited students to take candy from the pile, eat it, and tape the wrapper to the wall.
The installation, which went up on Monday, has grown in size throughout the week, as wrappers taped to the glass continue to extend outward.
For the project, Art Union purchased 30 pounds of Fruit Chews, 3,000 packets of Sweet Tarts, nine pounds of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses, and one 11-ounce bag of Hershey's Kisses with Almonds.
In addition to the installation at Thorne Hall, Art Union also placed Sweet Tarts in every student's Smith Union mailbox last week with a note attached that said "Eat me."
Alex Bassett '09, Anna Kosovsky '08, and Alyssa Phanitdasack '10, active members of Art Union, conceived and organized the project.
Kosovsky said she had seen installations created with food before, and was interested in "the idea of consuming to make art."
Phanitdasack came up with the name "Gluttony," but she and other members of the Art Union stressed that the title is not intended to make a social statement.
"It's not trying to send a message," said Kosovsky. "I don't want people to feel like they're gluttons. It's just a funny way of describing 3,000 Sweet Tarts."
"I just like the idea of consuming something to make art," she added. "I enjoyed how 'consumer' became a positive thing. All people do nowadays is get yelled at for consumerism."
The group also considered placing a video camera by the exhibit, so they could document consumerism as a process.
Art Union was started by a group of visual arts majors and their friends who were simply interested in talking about and creating art. New members join the group often, especially when new projects begin, but members of Art Union are not concerned with mailing lists and the size of their group.
"We're not interested in numbers," said Kosovsky. "It's more just an outlet for anyone who wants to do something."
"Art Union is pretty much run by a small group of people with really strong ideas," added Phanitdasack.
In addition, everyone in the group can function as a leader.
"It's completely anarchist, and we're trying to keep it that way, said Kosovsky.
Although the group is small, their ideas are intended to reach across campus.
"We really want to use the campus as an entity to create art," Bassett said, referencing what the group did with "Gluttony" and what it plans to achieve with future projects.
In the near future, Art Union plans to display felt squares in Smith Union. The project, according to Kosovsky, will "energize and bring color into people's stressed out lives."
Another project done with silk screen will involve stretching fabric between the tress on the Quad. Not only will this installation be highly visible on campus, it will also be changed as the seasons changed.
"I'm most excited about the weathering aspect," said Bassett, referencing the sun, snow, and wind that will all affect the art.
"It's going to fade, run...Things are going to happen to it, which I think will be interesting," she said.
In addition, Art Union strives to make art accessible to everyone on campus, even those who would not classify themselves as artists.
"My aim was to have people break free from art as an academic subject and just to let people who would never define themselves as artists do art," said Kosovsky. She added that she wanted to "bring art down from the pedestal, and make it interactive with everybody."
Members of Art Union are pleased that the installation has grown through campus interaction with it.
"It's not only giving people an outlet, but everyone is giving a small effort to create something," Bassett said.
"People are so excited because it's not demanding," added Kosovsky. "There's no sense of failure."
Above all, Art Union seeks to create.
"It's not a cerebral thing?we don't sit around and think 'What is Art Union?'" Kosovsky said.
"It's something fun to engage the campus," Bassett said.