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  • Aynslee Myer

Art Piece on the U.S.-Mexico Border Wins Prestigious Award

A symbolic piece of artwork won the Beazley Design of the Year award for 2020. It was given to Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello who designed seesaws on the U.S. -Mexico border with the intent to bring people together. The piece is called Teeter-Totter Wall, and according to NPR, the award was chosen out of 70 nominees from dozens of different countries.

According to NPR, Teeter-Totter Wall was installed in July of 2019 and sits on the border between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez.

“The Beazley Design of the Year award is like the Oscars of the design world,” said Razia Iqbal, one of the Design Museum's judges, in an NPR article.

According to, there are many different categories of these awards. They include architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product, and transport. Teeter-Totter Wall won the transport award and the overall best award of the year.

In an interview with NPR, Rael said, “Most importantly, it comes at a time when we are hopeful for change and that we start building more bridges instead of walls.”

“When the award was announced it spoke to the fact that people are excited to be together and about optimism for the future,” said Fratello for NPR.

Some students at Olivet College shared their opinions on the piece.

Kiersen McDonough, a sophomore with a major in accounting, said “This is a very positive and this work of art was needed in this time period. Also saying that it will help kids play with other kids that are not like them which is really important as you grow up. Relating it to Olivet by giving the example of the ice rink she said it is similar to work of art because that it is brining everyone in Olivet together no matter where you are from.”

Jenna Otten, a freshman with a sports psychology major, said “with this being my first year at Olivet I can connect this art piece to Olivet because of how diverse Olivet is and how they want everyone to come together. Also stating that his creative art piece was symbolic and a powerful thing during this time frame.”

Courtesy Image


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