Posted by: Fredda Sacharow | April 28, 2012

R-Garden on Voorhees Mall Blooming with Creativity

Rachel Beyda decorates an R for the Mason Gross School at the Rutgers Day R Garden on Voorhees Mall.

Radiant. Remarkable. Riviting. Robust. Wander into the R-Garden in the Voorhees Mall on Collegee Avenue today, and you’ll think you’ve tumbled through the university’s equivalent of the Rabbit hole. But it’s actually one of the newest – and most interactive — attractions at Rutgers Day.

Two five-foot-tall Rs adorned with flowers and plants signal that you’ve entered the world of Rutgers spirit. That and the children who are totally engrossed in decorating their own personal Rs with glitter, ribbons, cotton balls, and magic markers – all hallmarks of pint-sized artists with outsized creativity.

“We already had six kids in the first 10 minutes after we opened,” says Melissa Toscano, a sophomore math and psychology major in the School of Arts and Sciences, who’s staffing one of the children’s booths.

Nearby, Jane Doolitte of Rutgers Dining Services is arranging cupcakes – chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet – atop a large block R, and they smell delicious! Doolittle and her colleagues have been baking all week, turning out some 3,000 cupcakes for the R-Garden to complement another 4,000-plus that visitors to other attractions at Rutgers Day will gobble down today.

The garden area is filled with a sea of Rs decorated by various units and departments at Rutgers. The imagination of the artists will knock your socks off. Art works representing the Rutgers University Libraries and the Graduate School of Education are among crowd favorites – the rag doll children reading books while perched atop the GSE’s version are instant charmers.

For a rare glimpse into an artist’s inspiration, stop by and chat with Rachel Beyda, who’s using acrylic paint to cover the R sponsored by the Mason Gross School of the Arts. The sophomore from Marlboro says she usually works on a larger scale, but for now she’s enjoying the intricate floral designs she’s drawing as an appreciative audience gathers.


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