Visual artist, MacArthur Fellow, and Scripps alumna Elizabeth Turk ’83 hosted her three-act Look Up exhibition on Scripps’ campus from September 7 to September 18. Following a collaborative community haiku composed of brightly colored sticky notes and a virtual symposium with fellow MacArthur “geniuses” Betsy Levy Paluck and Marla Spivak, Turk’s exhibition culminated in a flash mob on Bowling Green.
On the morning of September 18, approximately 300 masked students, faculty, and staff from The Claremont Colleges gathered on Bowling Green and were provided with colorful masks and umbrellas specially designed by Turk.
“The excitement of being gifted a gorgeous umbrella and mask and encountering friends and colleagues as we twirled from Bowling Green to Jaqua and back again during what was an unseasonably crisp September morning was so energizing, as was being in communion with 300 other community members,” says Corrina Lesser, director of public events and community programs.
At a signal from an ensemble of taiko drummers provided by TAIKOPROJECT, all participants opened their umbrellas and moved freely between Bowling Green and Jaqua Quad for half an hour. Participants were encouraged to open, close, spin, and move their umbrellas however they wished as drones captured the scene from above.
“At one point, those of us on Bowling Green spontaneously started a ‘conga’ line snaking through the crowd,” recalls Anna Huff ’25. “That turned into a pattern of concentric circles where we opened and closed the umbrellas at different times.”
Look Up’s “organized chaos” was a physical demonstration of the optimism, resilience, and joy shared by the Scripps and 5C community. Participants happily moved and danced together in ways that formed an intimate yet sweeping display. After a year and a half of remote instruction, Look Up provided the perfect “welcome back to campus” for the Scripps community.
“The Scripps experience is so singular,” reflects Lesser. “Elizabeth recognized just how much we would want and need to come back together this fall after so much time apart.”
View the Scripps Look Up exhibition here.