“Head up, paws forward” President Fred Clark describes the newest bear statue, he adds, “just like our students” as the posture symbolizes the attitude of resilience that BSU bears are notorious for.
Standing outside the Park Avenue entrance of the Student Union Building, formerly known as the RCC, is a beautiful new artwork that remembers and recognizes students for their contributions to Bridgewater State University. Appropriately located outside of what is argued to be the most student-oriented building on campus, the bear is hoped to become a place to gather, celebrate and share gratitude.
The artist behind the bronze bear is Chris Williams of Essex, MA who describes that while the process of cutting and twisting chards of bronze unfolds, “the life force of each piece is born.” To view a photo gallery that captures his creative process, visit chriswilliamssculpture.com.
The timing of the installation this monument will be noticed and appreciated by the student body. While the significance of this statue is broadly described as “for students,” it can be seen as the university offering a symbol of recognition for how much patience and adaptation 2020 has been demanded of students, and also faculty, in transitioning to a fully online learning environment.
Approaching the one year mark of that time we left for Spring Break and never returned, this gives hope that we will soon be able to return to in person classes and soon be reunited. To walk by the bear and imagine future students posing in front of it sparks a little bit of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
Speaking of light, there was chatter at the reveal event that there may be lighting installed inside the bear to be illuminated on special occasions. In the past, BSU has participated in Autism Awareness Month by lighting Boyden Hall blue at night for the entire month of April. It will be interesting to see what plans they have in store for the bear.
To the students who graduated without the chance to return to campus: cheers 2020 seniors, this bear’s for you.