Lorraine Fink turned Campus discards into sculpture

by | May 9, 2024 | Other News

One afternoon in 2014, as Lorraine Fink took down her art show at the Leon Family Gallery on the Sandler Family Campus and loaded it into her car, she was drawn by “a silent vibrant cry from a small mountain of metal and plastic at the edge of the loading dock,” according to an article in a May 2016 issue of Jewish News.

To her artistic eye, “these identical pieces stood paralyzed before the jaws of the garbage truck, which was soon to crush them into a mangled heap and toss them to a future as landfill pollutants. I could not ignore their cries,” she said of the discarded Jaffe Gymnasium’s metal halide light fixtures. The gym had just been upgraded with more environmentally friendly LED lighting.

After loading her paintings, she loaded the lights, too, taking them home, where they began their journey to their new destiny: The Tribe.

Fink adorned and enhanced the cast-off lights with other discarded, no-longer-needed, no-longer-usable relics such as architects rendered samples, drywall bead, 90-year-old penicillin bottles, remote controls, used cds, letterpress, telephone coils – among other items creating a series of sculptures.

The Tribes emerged with headpieces, facial features, decorative ornaments, weavings, and whimsy. They acquired body paint, feathers, and unique markings. Each became its own tribe. . . complete with names.

The Tribes have faced the world multiple times, including at Norfolk’s Slover Library, Norfolk Academy, Old Dominion University, and of course, the Cardo at the Sandler Family Campus.