Coming to a wall near you: Fellow students’ artwork
The Residential Area Real Art Committee is on a mission to add to campus flair. It aims to bring students’ artwork to the Danforth University Center and other areas on campus that are traversed by students not in the art school.
Prompted by a noticeable absence of art on main campus, Kelsey Brod and Kelsey Eng, two freshman art school senators, decided to try to change that.
“One of the very first things that I noticed…is that there was extreme lack of art in terms of installations, sculptures and framed student work on campus,” Brod said. “[It was] striking because Wash. U. is a very good school, and it usually promotes its talent. Since we have all this talent, I figured that it could be something we could accomplish.”
Though art is displayed in the art school, most students never get to see their peers’ artwork.
“It’s a shame that students work so hard at making artwork and then it [doesn’t] get that much viewership outside of the classroom,” Eng said.
Brod and Eng are the co-chairs and founders of both the Residential Area Real Art Committee (RARA) and the DUC Fine Arts Committee (a subcommittee that extends from residential areas to the DUC). In addition to bringing art to the DUC, they also want to bring student art to the dining area in the South 40 House.
“I think it’s really good to exhibit your artwork because if you’re an artist, you’re making your art to show other people…it’s great practice for your post-graduate career,” Eng said.
Their first exhibit in the DUC, “Profile Me,” started on Friday and will continue for six weeks. The project, which was intended to shed light on racial profiling and to bring artwork on the subject to the DUC, kicked off with an event with WU-SLam, a student poetry group. RARA hopes that future exhibits will also be able to incorporate themes in which other student groups can get involved.
Everyone is encouraged to submit art, which can be done each month by following the directions on corresponding flyers.
“Profile Me” was created by sophomore Chris Lo, who is minoring in the art school, and freshman Billy Roh, who incorporated members of the Wash. U. community in a collage of their faces. The pictures were e-mailed to the subjects, and some students used their pictures on their Facebook profiles. According to Lo, one of the goals of the project was to bring the message of profiling to the broader community.
Several pieces were displayed in the visitor’s lounge in the DUC for this exhibit. RARA is hoping that the success of “Profile Me” will lead to more submissions for the next exhibit.
The artists displayed in the exhibit appreciated the opportunity to show off their work. “I think this is a very good step in the right direction, the reason being that the DUC is a very high-traffic area and it’s not just art students…In the art school there are places to showcase your work,” Lo said.
Submissions for RARA are still taking place, and freshmen and sophomores can submit images of their artwork from core classes with dimensions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RARA is hopeful that art on main campus will help to emphasize the vibrancy of undergraduate life.
“[Displaying art on campus is] important because we need to integrate all of our talents together so we are aware of all of our strengths,” Brod said.