By Jessie Forand/ECHO Editor’s note:  This is the first in a series discussing public art at ECHO. This summer visitors along the Burli...

Science Loves Art: Robert Hitzig

By Jessie Forand/ECHO

Editor’s note:  This is the first in a series discussing public art at ECHO. This summer visitors along the Burlington Waterfront will witness art in action, with engaging pieces created by artists, sculptors, and students all with a strong point of view.

Artist Robert Hitzig installs his piece "Box of Courage" outside ECHO Tuesday afternoon. (Photos: Jessie Forand/ECHO)

Montpelier artist Robert Hitzig on Tuesday constructed just outside the building his piece “Box of Courage,” a colorful shape consisting of wood, paint… and a strong message for passersby.

This is meant to be interactive, Hitzig said – it becomes art only when someone is inside the structure. The box creates courage and security for those inside, and the mere act of climbing inside in fact takes courage, a sort of childlike inhibition.

"Box of Courage" sits, partially installed, at ECHO. 

In order to overcome what scares someone, Hitzig explained, they must think like a kid.

The artist hopes those walking by on the waterfront will engage with the piece, getting inside to truly experience the feeling of becoming a part of the artwork, and to feel the courage it is meant to inspire.
Hitzig’s spirit is precisely what ECHO hopes to stir in its guests. He is a doer. A creator.

“I’m a maker – I just make things every day,” he said.

For more information about Robert Hitzig and his work, visit,, or

Hitzig's provided artist statement: 

Box of Courage is an interactive work of art designed to engage the public. The title refers to the effect boxes have on us. The act of climbing in boxes give us a feeling of safety which, in turn, gives us courage. Additionally, though children are uninhibitedly drawn to boxes, and climb in without hesitation, adults tend to repress the urge. As a result, the title also refers to the courage it takes to let that uninhibited child within all of us express itself. Theoretically, that courage would then become self-reinforcing, generating more strength, safety, and security by being inside the box. Consequently, the work is not complete without human interaction. The art isn't just the box, rather, it is the box with courageous people of all ages inside, popping their heads out of the holes, and having uninhibited childlike fun. I hope you enjoy!

Artist Robert Hitzig. 

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