Islamic and Friendship Studies at Oberlin College

Friendship and Sol Lewitt

Sol Lewitt’s 49 Three-Part Variations on Three Different Kinds of Cubes is a great example of the expression of friendship in art, particularly abstract art. At first glance, the piece looks strange – it is a collection of three-dimensional, white structures arranged in rows on the floor. But actually, it encompasses a lot of the basic values of friendship that we have learned about in class – those of diversity, inclusion, and unity.

Every cube within the sculpture is different from the next, based on which areas are hollow and which are not. Despite their differences, though, they all make up one unified form, and there is no one piece that is more important than the other. Each individual form is a permutation of the same basic shape, as well, suggesting a fundamental equality. This is the same in a good friendship, when people have certain shared qualities but also benefit from their differences and their diversity. Another interesting aspect of this sculpture is that it looks different based on where the viewer is standing; from one perspective, the piece looks jumbled, while from another, the cubes seem to stand in unified lines. This is similar to friendship, in that friendship is something that is constantly changing and that has many different facets to it. A friendship can be looked at and understood from many different perspectives; friendship is more complex and multifaceted than we might image at first glance.




April 2018


WHEREAS, friendship is upheld as a universally-admired concept within all cultures, religions, and nations of the world, and it is a concept independent of race, gender, ethnicity, or any other defining factors; and


WHEREAS, friendship allows us to explore and understand the human condition, and thereby allows us to widen our worldview; and


WHEREAS, friendship transcends justice and creates a society based on unification rather than division; and

WHEREAS, friendship enriches the lives of our citizens; and


WHEREAS, friendship has the power to improve and strengthen our domestic and international relations; and


WHEREAS, Oberlin has always been a pioneer in promoting the basic foundations of friendship such as inclusion, acceptance, and empathy, as it has a long history of embracing diversity and treating everyone as an equal; we should celebrate that history through a federal holiday.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Nell Beck, Student of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, on behalf of other Oberlin students, do hereby proclaim April 28th as



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