San Marcos,
10:45 AM

Whimsical Sculpture Brings Color and Sound to Campus

By Katie Chappell

CSUSM added a pop of color and a new soundtrack to its campus after a musical art piece was installed on the grass hill behind the Dome in February.

The sculpture is made from repurposed turbine ventilators attached to 12-foot steel posts. The ventilators spin when the wind hits them, causing the three bells inside of each turbine to chime gently on breezy days.

Local artist Fritzie Urquhart created and donated the unnamed artwork to campus. She was inspired by the utilitarian and aesthetic nature of the turbines and engaged both qualities to provide a visual and auditory appeal.

“Painting and sculpting is for me the process of discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary, and creating art that celebrates those qualities,” Urquhart shared in her artist’s statement.

This is the fourth art piece of Urquhart’s displayed at CSUSM. Two of her sculptures have been donated by the Wolfstein family. In 2011 her piece entitled “Do Re Mi” was installed behind the Arts building and in 2010 her playful piece, entitled “Noodledoodle,” was installed outside of the Center for Children and Families. Her painting, entitled “Pieces of the Puzzle,” was donated by Patrons from the Oceanside Museum of Art and is displayed on Craven Hall’s fifth floor.

In addition to Urquhart’s pieces, CSUSM displays many other public art installations – all of which have been made possible through generous contributions by individual donors, groups or organizations. According to the Campus Public Arts Advisory Group (CPAAG), public art at CSUSM exists to present the campus community and the region with art projects that engage the senses and intellect in publicly accessible areas of the campus.

Marilyn Huerta, community liaison and member of the CPAAG, is excited about the newest installation on campus, and hopes to see more public art at CSUSM for both the campus and local community to appreciate and enjoy.

“I want to see Cal State San Marcos as a cultural center, bringing in regional artists’ flavor and history,” she said. “Because we have such a diverse campus, we want to reflect the culture of the student population in our art.”

Urquhart complimented CSUSM’s art community on their openness to innovative public art, saying “Cal State San Marcos is really breaking ground by bringing some color and whimsy. It is an unusual piece for a university campus, but the campus provides a great background for color and art.”

Urquhart hopes students, staff and faculty will enjoy the sights and sounds of what has been unofficially dubbed “The Lollipops” on campus. She has suggested that CSUSM students and faculty work together to officially name the piece so that its identity is reflective of its newest home on campus.

You can find an extensive library of Fritzie Urquhart’s work on her artist website at: