Student art displayed in South Foundation Hall

Sadie Layher, Staff Reporter

The new paintings inside South Foundation Hall are a collaboration of the Art and Art History Department and the Modern Languages and Literature Department to showcase student work. 

A few paintings are displayed in the hallway, but most of them are inside the active learning classrooms given specifically for the Modern Languages and Literature Department as of fall 2017 according to Jennifer Sullivan, chair of the department.

According to Sullivan, the department’s classrooms were empty and in the need of color. Sullivan and her team, with help from Dean Kevin Corcoran of the College of Arts and Sciences, went to Stephen Goody, the chair of the Art and Art History Department, to see if he might be able to help to provide art and color to the barren classrooms.

The ideas for the display of these paintings coincided with Modern Language’s classroom refurbishments in South Foundation Hall,” Goody said. “Corcoran, thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase Art and Art History studio art majors’ work in the new labs.”

Ten students from Goody’s advanced drawing and painting course in fall 2017 participated in creating the art. The students had not painted anything this big before as the canvases were 60×72 inches. Each of the students had to learn how to create the canvases they were going to paint on first.

“We have a makerspace with all sorts of equipment and power tools, so we held a large stretcher-making tutorial and the students learned how to build the frames around which they then stretched their 60×72 inch canvases,” Goody said.

The students then had to come up with mock drawings for the canvases. The goal was to make the paintings happy and uplifting. They came up with around five ideas and then moved on to the next step.

“Cross-disciplinary initiatives like this are something we always strive for because they create new pathways of discourse and expand on the potential of what is possible,” Goody said. “This was a win-win opportunity for both of us.”

This was a gift giving opportunity as well as a way to benefit the students. The students get to have their work on display while the Modern Languages Department has a brighter and more cultural landscape to learn in.

“Our role in this was minimal, except that we are the happy recipients of these beautiful works,” Sullivan said.

There was a reception on Friday, March 30 held inside South Foundation. It was a chance for the students to see their art displayed and was also a time for the Modern Languages Department to say thank you, according to Sullivan.

South Foundation is not the only location of student art on campus. Wilson Hall is full of paintings students have worked hard on.

“There is always art on campus because the Oakland University Art Gallery is in Wilson Hall and has exhibitions throughout the semester by artists from all over the world,” Goody said.