Talented sculpture student Janell Hammer created a frogalicious art piece to reside near the library.
Finals week is quickly approaching. Thankfully, now when students gaze out the window at the library, sweat rolling down their brow and stressed for the upcoming tests, they will be met with a large, friendly frog sculpture. Talented first-year student Janell Hammer is the artist behind this amphibious creation.
Hammer had never created a sculpture before coming to Hamline, but when her sculpture professor told the students to go big, Hammer ran with the opportunity.
“When I was thinking about what I wanted to do, I was thinking about what would be fun because this is the first time I was welding and using concrete,” Hammer said. “That’s when I thought, okay, maybe a frog.”
The significance of frogs for Hammer goes back before this assignment.
“Frogs are really nostalgic for me,” Hammer said. “When I was younger my dad, brother and I would go catch frogs down by the river by our house.”
However, as nostalgic as frogs are for Hammer, the final version of the frog sculpture is based on a popular meme.
“There’s this meme of a frog sitting on the tailgate of a truck. The frog looked so sad and it was so funny to me, and that’s when I decided to make a large frog sitting on a log,” Hammer said.
A lot of time, planning and materials went into the making of the frog. The most impressive thing is that this is the first time Hammer has done anything like this.
“The outside of the frog is wire and it was a wire skeleton,” Hammer said. “Then we used chicken wire to do a layer on the outside, then mesh, and then mortar. I tried to make it as smooth as I could on the outside.”
The decision to put the finished frog sculpture by the library was one that was decided by the entire sculpture class.
“Our professor wanted to replace the sculpture by the library, and we all voted,” Hammer said. “We thought it would be funny to have a random gold frog next to a library where people are studying to become nurses or something.”
Many students have indeed found the sculpture funny, and it has been widely accepted and loved.
First-year students Kate Kelley and Erika Albrecht both have nothing but kind remarks for the golden frog.
“It is my favorite thing at Hamline,” Kelley said. “I walked out one day and saw the gold frog, and it made me so happy.”
Albrecht has similar feelings.
“I love the frog and I want it to be there forever,” Albrecht said. “It makes me really happy, and it shows the creativity of Hamline students.”
Having art on campus has certainly lifted the spirits of students, especially during this unusual year.
“Seeing the art on campus helps remind me that students are active and doing stuff, and it makes me interested in what others are doing since I am in such a science based field,” Kelley said.
As an artist herself, Hammer loves seeing art on campus, and it is especially important to her.
“It creates such a warm and homey atmosphere,” Hammer said. “I like seeing art on campus because you know someone put a lot of work into it, and it makes me feel like a community because people are contributing and adding to campus.”
The frog sculpture is located outside of the Bush Library facing Drew Hall. There are many other art pieces around campus as well, some of which can be found by the art trailers. A short walk around Hamline to see all of the wonderful art is sure to lift students’ spirits as finals week approaches.