Department helps out by giving gifts of art

Bold and bright describe the works created by ten art and art history students to combat against boring and bland walls.

The new paintings inside South Foundation Hall are a collaboration of the art and art history department and the modern languages and literature department.

The paintings range every color of the rainbow and are just as diverse in topic. Ashley Fowler’s “106 Children” is one of the more vibrant ones. Hers depicts flowers ranging from roses to poppies in different bright colors. Most of the artwork has special meaning to those who created it, and most are about the theory of inspiration.

A few of the 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 modern languages and literature department.

The department’s classrooms were very empty and were in the need of color. Sullivan and her department, with help from Dean Kevin Corcoran of 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 baren 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 & art history studio art majors’ work in the new labs.”

Ten students from Goody’s Advanced Drawing & 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 first 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 art 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.

A reception on Friday, March 30, 2018 held inside South Foundation Hall 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.