It rose above the crowd of students as they made their way through the Thursday-night dinner rush in the Atrium.
Standing over 15 feet tall, weighing 10 to 20 pounds and sporting a top hat and a McDonald’s nametag, which read “McLovin,” Ball State art students constructed and completed a large parade statue in the Atrium foyer intended for Muncie’s First Thursday parade in April.
However, due to the new measures taken by various Ball State and Muncie organizations, that was postponed due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Claire Bickel, sophomore studio art major, said the project, organized by the art foundation's 4-D program, is based on a game played by surrealist artists.
“It's based on ‘Exquisite Corpse,' which is a game that the surrealist and the Dadaist artists used to play,” Bickel said. “What they would do is take a folded piece of paper, you would anonymously draw a random head, and then the next person would anonymously draw a random body and then the next person would anonymously draw random feet.”
Under the rules of Exquisite Corpse, the statue began as a simple drawing, which was then used to dictate the appearance and proportions of the statue.
The project was organized and constructed over a two-week span from materials like PVC pipe, chicken wire, googly eyes and paper mache and was funded both by the program and the students.
Bickel said she and her fellow students formed three teams to build the statue with each respective team working on McLovin’s head, torso and foot.
When it was brought to the Atrium in pieces and assembled, it was intended as a trial run for the final assembly of the statue that would have taken place at the end of the parade as a grand finale.
“We were planning on carrying each separate piece down the parade [route] and then assembled it at the end,” said Skye Day, freshman drawing major.
The finale, Bickel said, would have been “spectacular” when McLovin was assembled at the end of the parade near MadJax Muncie.
Due to the cancellation of the parade, the statue will likely remain in the Atrium for the time being, Bickel said, and may be shown in the Atrium Exhibit early next school year.
Contact John Lynch with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @WritesLynch.