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Student Reconnects with Forest for Capstone Project

August 6, 2018

Quinn Morrissette’s capstone project brings him back to his childhood. Growing up in northern New Hampshire, the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) served as his playground. Now, he is creating a wooden sculpture as an artist in residence for the forest’s centennial year commemorations.

Morrissette, BIND ’18, was a winner of the a nationwide competition in which applicants were selected based on work they submitted, and their responses to how the forest has inspired their lives and their work.

Morrissette is designing a spiral made of several stumps from a 100-year-old white pine tree. The spiral represents natural cycles of the forest and emphasizes how the forest has impacted the lives of generations of people in the area.

“For me, the forest reconciled the relationship between industry and nature,” Morrissette said. “Growing up, I reaped the rewards of what the forest provided for northern New Hampshire. This [project] is a display of my gratitude. I really want people to see the work and discover a closer connection to the land, and I think seeing something in a natural way revitalizes that connection.”

Morrissette’s sculpture, which will be installed near the Dolly Copp Campground in the Gorham, N.H. area, will include a brief message encouraging visitors to note how the forest has impacted their lives. Visitors can share photos and stories using a hashtag, #centennialspiral. Morrissette also will invite the public to help as he builds the sculpture.

​Morrissette will head up to the forest to begin building the sculpture after his graduation on August 19.

Before that, he will present his final design at the industrial design senior showcase on August 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Watson Auditorium.

“The industrial design program gives you a ton of different skills that you can apply to your own interests, such as visual communication and rendering, presentation skills, design thinking, and being able to communicate your ideas and actually build things that inspire others,” said Morrissette. “All my professors and faculty have really been supportive.”

The sculpture is set to be unveiled in September. At the unveiling, visitors will have the opportunity to share how they and their family have connected with the forest.

For more photos of Quinn and his sketches, check out the Flickr gallery.

Check out other Industrial Design Senior Showcase pictures. 

-Samuel Kim

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