Sprinkler System Fails, Disrupts Art Exhibition
By Meghna Sridhar '14, News Section Editor
Resident Amherst College photography and art enthusiasts were left disappointed on Friday night when Miroir/Zerkalo, a still and moving image exhibition organized by Alex Strecker ’13 and Jeehae Goddard ’13 was disrupted due to a flooding at the Marsh Arts House, where the exhibition was being held.

The exhibition, which was organized to display works influenced by the likes of Roland Barthes and the Russian avant-garde exhibitions at the Mead, was interrupted in the first half hour by the fire alarms going off. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the cause of the alarm was a faulty sprinkler on the second floor, which led to flooding all the way to the basement floors of the dormitory.

“Who knew the water would reach all the way to the basement?” Goddard said. “It was most surreal to see water gushing out from the ballroom light fixtures, but this pointed to what a state of disrepair our house was in.”

Some students living in the Arts House have claimed the faulty infrastructure of the house, as well as negligence on behalf of the College, to be a key factor behind the flooding.

“The source of the flooding was actually from the sprinklers in a particular room, but clearly this could have come at any time and only served to highlight the neglect that the house had been subject to,” Strecker said.

What worries some of the occupants of the house upon the Hill is not just the untimely disturbance of the show, but also the damage caused to the dormitory due to the flooding.

“It was no doubt disappointing to have to leave the show unfinished, but the destruction of the house was frankly much more shocking,” Strecker said. “The kitchen ceiling fell through, which was rather exciting but has curtailed our cooking activity since.”

Rooms on the second floor were also damaged due to the faulty sprinkler.

“We plan to turn our rescheduled event into a benefit for the unfortunate souls whose life possessions were destroyed by this catastrophe,” said Strecker and Goddard. “Please look out for donation bows around school, and you may even catch his ghost stumbling round Valentine.”

The hosts of the exhibition are confident that the show will go on. “We most definitely were not deterred by the flooding and will be re-hosting the exhibition on the 30th of March,” Goddard said. “We loved the publicity we pulled off for the first event, so we’ve got plenty more surprises in store the second time round.”

“The incident served to bring us together as a house and certainly we will overcome even in face of such calamity,” Strecker said. “The show will be bigger, better and stronger the second time around, no half-measures will be taken. You will not be disappointed.”

Issue 18, Submitted 2011-03-09 03:21:47