"Why Do Colleges Have So Much Art" by Jacoba Urist, The Atlantic
Last June, on a cold evening, I sat beneath Pomona’s public installation, “Dividing the Light,” one of the sculptor James Turrell’s famous Skyscapes. Turrell, who studied perceptual psychology and mathematics as a Pomona undergraduate, is known for using light projections that change in hue and intensity to create optical illusions. Every day, at dusk, visitors quietly gather under a floating metal canopy in the Draper Courtyard, open to the public, for a lighting program that seemingly alters the color of the sky as it transitions from twilight to full night. One minute the clouds looks lavender, the next pitch black—an apt metaphor for the impact grand, contemporary art can have on campus. Overall, the mission of college art may have evolved from strictly a teaching tool to something much more exploratory. But when students perceive their world differently, they become more imaginative and inventive thinkers.