Pumpkins fly at Terra

Club’s semester project combines art, history and physics
Jessica Cuffman
Oct 27, 2013

 

Tuck the pumpkin in the sling. Pull the pin. And watch it fly.

Most of the gourds, some starting to rot, didn’t quite hit their targets across the ditch Saturday on the campus of Terra State Community College. But that didn’t make the pumpkin launching event any less fun. Dubbed the “Pumpkin Siege,” the event represented medieval battle, with replica trebuchets — think catapults — built by art students and art history instructor Dan Chudzinski.
 
 
 
Terra art club members decorated some of the pumpkins and put together the scarecrow targets, making the event a piece of art in itself that kept morphing as the morning pressed on, smattered piles of orange pumpkin remains piling up across the once green lawn.

For $2, you could be the one to pull the pin on the trebuchet, releasing the ammunition from its sling.

There were a few hiccups in the experiment that combined art, history and physics. A handful of pumpkins launched backward. And of course there were a few too rotten to fly.

But the satisfying smack when one of the flying gourds hit a target brought oohs and ahhs from the few dozen brave enough to bundle up in the cold and face the wind for a few hours of experimentation.

The art club, only about a year old, marks the event as its semester project, president Chelsea Bickelhaupt said.

A student in her last semester of obtaining her associate’s degrees in fine arts and art history, the Tiffin resident plans to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree at an art institute.

In her time at Terra, she’s been part of two other semester projects — sculpting a 35-foot-long crocodilelike “Lake Erie monster,” now hanging from one of the hallway ceilings on campus.

The second was an underwater shipwreck mosaic scene, pieced together from separate tiles created by different students.

“We’re always looking for cool stuff to do to get students involved in the arts,” Bickelhaupt said. “It’s not every day you get to do something like this.”

For more information about the club, call the art department at 419-559-2233, or email dchudzinski01@terra.edu  .