Class torches two-story art sculpture in annual spring ritual

Linfield students created an immense sculpture that was “built to burn,” and that’s exactly what happened last week in a celebration of whimsy and spring. VIDEO

Students created the structure indoors and then took it apart and carried it to a field on campus, where they set it ablaze. The burn is an annual spring ritual for students in adjunct Professor Totem Shriver’s art and visual culture class.

Two hundred Linfield students and people from the McMinnville community gathered, and many inscribed their burdens and hopes on prayer flags and slips of paper, which they fed them to the flames.

Fire traditions around the world symbolize transformation, according to Shriver. “Fire represents something primeval and mystical, and this annual rite is a way to purify,” he says.

It’s also a way to celebrate whimsy and art, and to bring people together. After the structure went up in smoke, people roasted marshmallows over the dying flames. The next burn is set for spring 2012.

Read about the burn in the student Linfield Review or check out the event photos.

(Homepage photo courtesy of Megan Myer ’11)