Comstock Memorial Union
Growth and Spark

Growth and Spark

As the Comstock Memorial Union’s 50th year comes to a close, we have been remembering moments throughout the historic year. Today’s memory is from our re-dedication of the building on February 14th, 2018, 50 years to the day the CMU was originally dedicated. In addition to the re-dedication, we revealed our commissioned art pieces for the Comstock Memorial Union, Spark and Growth by 2016 MSUM Alumna Olivia Bain.

artist olivia bain
Artist and Alumna Olivia Bain

“Throughout my life, there has always been a need to create something to process my experiences. During my time at Minnesota State University Moorhead, I discovered what it takes to turn that need into a profession,” artist Olivia Bain said, “With guidance from the professors and faculty, I was able to discover what I wanted to say with my work in an encouraging environment. With these two installations, I am reflecting on the time spent in higher education.”

growth artwork
“Growth considers the change that happens from freshman year to graduation- a wild maturation that happens with work, determination and passion.” – Olivia Bain

The pieces hang suspended from the ceiling to be seen in the from the CMU Main Lounge and second floor landing outside of the Ballroom on the south side of the building.

Here’s how Bain describes the technical process of the artwork:

The inside structure of Growth is a welded 1/16th inch steel rod. Aluminum window screen was then hand sewn around the structure, with fine wire utilized as the thread to hold the screen tight and together. Locally found seed stalks were dipped in local beeswax for preservation, and then hand sewed onto plant stalks.

spark artwork
“Spark is channeling the energy found within the campus and it’s people, igniting community. ” – Olivia Bain

Spark has a welded frame made out of 1/8th inch steel rod. Washers were welded on the structure to bolt various colored plexi-glass to the structure. The plexiglass was shaped into triangles and then put together with wire and plastic adhesive.

For those who are interested in additional pictures of the artwork process and installation process, see the gallery of images below that were provided by Olivia Bain of the artworks Growth and Spark in various stages of completion and display.