My name is Tyson Buttorff. I am an art major from Jersey Shore, PA. In addition to my sculpture major, I will be certified to teach Art K-12 when I graduate. At Lycoming I have opportunity to be creative and explore new media and concepts in art. I chose Lycoming because the art department is top rate, classes are small, the atmosphere is friendly and the faculty give you a lot of individual attention and support.
For three years I've been spending a lot of time in a nursing home visiting my grandmother. You would think that with age comes wisdom and respect, but in America, often the opposite is true. Most people laugh at the awkwardness of our elders or completely ignore their existence. We deny them choices, freedom, and the dignity they deserve. The nursing home that I''ve been visiting resembles a waiting room for death. This year I received the Koehler Grant to pay for supplies for a summer project. The project is part of a series about how our society treats the elderly. You can see one installation from the series below. The new piece is an in-ground installation that consists of a small room with a strong tempered glass ceiling that is flush with the ground so the viewer can walk on it. The concept is that this piece won't be visible unless you are right on top of it, like how we don't see what happens in these nursing homes until we are on top of the situation. In the small room will be a figure of an elderly man combined with roots representing his knowledge. Over time, this earthwork piece will slowly be covered by the land and forgotten, like the elderly who waste away without visitors in nursing homes.