Carleton bids farewell to 'Twigonometry'

Editor's note: Just a reminder that the Twigonometry celebration is at 3 p.m. today, Monday.

Twigonometry,” the fascinating twig sculpture on the Bald Spot at Carleton College, is coming down this summer almost four years after it was erected by Carleton staff and volunteers.

But it won’t go away without a proper goodbye. Carleton will host a farewell ice cream social in honor of the sculpture on Monday, July 24 at 3 p.m. Festivities, which will take place on the Bald Spot adjacent to the popular twig form, will include brief remarks by Carleton staff, ice cream for everyone and balloons for children.

Neighbors and friends are encouraged to place goodbye notes inside Twigonometry anytime before the party; paper and markers also will be available during the ice cream social for writing additional notes.

The sculpture was conceived by Patrick Dougherty, who is well known for his environmental structures built at museums, corporations and colleges across the country and abroad. He designed Twigonometry in fall 2002, and with the help of volunteers built it out of willow, buckthorn and dogwood collected from Carleton’s Cowling Arboretum and McKnight Prairie.

Only meant to last for two years, the sculpture is now collapsing, and must be removed for safety reasons. It will not be destroyed on site, but instead will be removed from the Bald Spot shortly after the farewell party.

“Twigonometry is, in essence, a work of conceptual art. The process of making the piece and the relationships between man and nature, art and landscape, materials and practices, are key to its beauty and meaning,” says exhibitions director Laurel Bradley, who commissioned the work. “Twigonometry is a gesture—beautiful but ultimately fleeting.”

Joe Hargis is associate vice president of external affairs at Carleton.