The Walk With Einstein

The Walk With Einstein

On Tuesday, May 28th , I accompanied Albert Einstein, along with a slew of his fans, to his new home at Umpqua Hall on the SWOCC campus. For you puzzled folks who know Dr Einstein passed away some time ago, let me enlighten you. “My Friend Albert” is a life-sized ceramic sculpture by Coquille artist Kathleen Zappelli. The sculpture has been donated to the college by Ms. Zappelli and, appropriately, will take his stand in the new Health and Science building, Umpqua Hall.

I met “My Friend Albert” last fall in the art department Eden Hall gallery where we had the annual BAAA members’ show. He was propped in a corner as a jovial onlooker to the exhibition. Because of Albert’s rather tippy and fragile 400 lb figure, James Fritz, head of the art department had to devise a sturdy, stable stand for him. Not an easy feat. I know that it involved cutting through steel plates, blowtorches and various industrial- type, noisy activities to get the job done because our Friday studio group was painting next door.

So, Albert was made ready for his big move to his new residence. Placed on a special dolly with James as the driver, and supported on either side by sturdy volunteers, with a cheery entourage of students, faculty, and lookers-on, he made his precarious way down the long walkway to Umpqua Hall for a formal unveiling. All went well--but, he didn’t fit through the door!

Fortunately, a wider doorway was located around the corner and he was wheeled into place. Kathleen pulled the black shroud from Albert, everyone clapped, speeches were made, thankyous given and lots of selfies were taken. And, you just couldn’t help but smile.

Wendy Whitaker, a fan.
ps: Umqua Hall is open during school hours and is quite beautiful. The spacious ground floor hallway/atrium has beautiful light. Go pay Albert a visit. Thanks to Archi Davenport for photos.

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