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Students Install Giant White Sneaker on Ben Franklin Bench to Represent White Sneakers at Penn


Photo (with edits by Mackenzie Lukas) by The Daily Pennsylvanian

Several Penn students created an art installation aiming to highlight the lack of footwear diversity at Penn. The installation, a giant white sneaker placed adjacent to the Ben Franklin bench to softly caress his metal foot, was later taken down the same day. 

The three fine arts students created the installation for a final project in hopes of raising awareness that the majority of Penn students have incredibly basic shoe game. They also 3D printed smaller white sneakers —some with Velcro, others with swooshes, and even some with the occasional five-pointed star — to represent the connection between white sneakers and Penn.

One of the students, who wishes to remain anonymous, was asked why they chose a white sneaker as opposed to another shoe, such as Allbirds. She simply replied, “That’d be a lot of wool. This is an intro class. We don’t have access to that.” She also noted that, while they didn’t intend for the installation to portray Penn negatively, it definitely portrays Penn negatively.

She continued, “Right now we’re trying to get in contact with whoever’s in charge of the facilities and find out where they took it because there are some Golden Goose shoes inside of that bag that people want back.”