Brooklyn-based artist Nade Haley had a very simple plan for the artwork she designed for Lehman's state-of-the-art multimedia center; into this facility, full of Hi-Def equipment and coaxial wires she would introduce a little nature. "I wanted to bring the outside world in," she explains.
Hence, the work's name—"Outside In." The piece is made of a series of impressionistic photos—digitally altered images of trees, brambles, and a series of computer wires—encased in glass. The artwork, approximately 900-square feet in size, comprises most of the wall adjacent to the staircase in the middle of the Center and benefits from the natural light beaming through the skyline above. "I'm bringing in nature through the glass," she explains. "And I'm actually taking something that's natural—trees and brambles—and having it morph into something that's not, wire and cables."
Like the Multimedia Center that it graces, creating "Outside In" was a multi-step process. She began by traveling to the Bronx and photographing trees and various parks around the borough. "I just parked the car and would stop and take shots," says Haley, a tenured professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she teaches three-dimensional design. "I couldn't even say where I was, I took so many shots." She also snapped some pictures of computers in a campus classroom. She then scanned the photos and digitally modified them before having them printed on a translucent industrial material and placed between glass panels.
To Haley, "Outside In" tries to bring a new dimension to the Multimedia Center. "I knew there was all this glass in the Center," she says. "I knew that I really wanted to do something that had light coming through it and had some transparency."
Haley's creation joins five other works of public art on the Lehman campus: "My Time is Now" (1993) by Ronald Baron in the APEX; the Covered Walkway outside the APEX (1993) by Jackie Ferrara; "Lehman College Environs" (1993), also in the APEX, by Howardena Pindell; "Intersections" (2003) by Wopo Holup along the walkway connecting Goulden Avenue with Campus Walk; and Sonic Pass Blue (1999) by Christopher Janney in the Information Technology Center.