With the much-lambasted Crum Creek Meander finally removed this past week, we are curious to see what public art will be gracing our campus next. A suggestion: let it be student art.
In past years, the college has had a number of art installations, some of which, like the mural on the side of the Science Center and the polarized light painting outside of Science Center 101, are here to stay on a permanent basis. All of these have been by outside artists, and we do love that their work is here, but why has the college not given students an opportunity to showcase their art?
The Kitao Gallery allows student artists to display their work, but it lacks exposure. The Kitao board has mentioned bringing its exhibits to a larger audience, and the college could definitely help out here: why not run a college-sponsored contest for a rotating art installation? Schools like Harvard and Dartmouth offer opportunities for students to have their art publicly displayed. Perhaps a wall in Shane could be freed up, a space on the beach reserved.
Kitao, as a student-run organization, is also unable to remain open the same way that the List Gallery can, further restricting ability of student artists to be displayed. Perhaps the college could create a job to watch over Kitao like the students who sit in List. And honestly, the use of the List gallery for Studio Art majors’ senior projects is something we could see a lot more of.
The college could show more support for WSRN, raising awareness of how many students perform and create art on the radio. Institutions like Franklin & Marshall broadcast their radio station in public areas, such as their dining halls. Were Sharples or Essie’s to play WSRN for even a few hours out of the day, hundreds of students could be exposed to what happens on the air, which is otherwise often heard by shamefully few people. Student radio has a long history on this campus and it would take very little to give it more support.
So little work, but so much payoff: our student artists should get the exposure they deserve.