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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Public Art Advisory Committee seeks students to help choose art for display around campus

    Pre-business sophomore Stuart Holst studies a mural in McClelland Hall yesterday evening. The university would like to see local artists work displayed in all university buildings.
    Pre-business sophomore Stuart Holst studies a mural in McClelland Hall yesterday evening. The university would like to see local artists work displayed in all university buildings.

    The Public Art Advisory Committee for the UA will soon be looking for one graduate student and one undergraduate student to join the committee to help make decisions on what art will be placed on campus.

    Blake Shell, curator for the Joseph Gross and Lionel Rombach galleries and coordinator for the PAAC, said she is excited to see the students join the 10-member committee.

    “”I think it is important that they have a voice,”” said Shell. “”Students are the reason there is a university, they should have a say in what art goes on campus.””

    The PAAC is responsible for the administration and selection processes of new art pieces on campus, which are funded by university buildings.

    The request for an undergraduate art student and graduate art student will go out in a few weeks, said Shell. One of the first things that these students will get to be involved in is the selection of art that the PAAC plans on placing at the north end of the Warren Avenue corridor.

    Charles Guerin, the UA Museum of Art executive director and chairman of the PAAC, said the Warren Avenue project deserves specific attention because the Arizona Health Sciences Center is important to the university.

    In the past, students have served on this board for a period of one year, but the committee is now hoping to have the students serve for two years.

    The longer serving time would be beneficial because public art generally takes years to implement with the artist selection process and budget considerations.

    The students review artist applications and aid in the selection process.

    “”There is a good degree of professional experience for them,”” said Shell.

    The PAAC also helps departments design, place, code comply and keep the quality level of all art that they would like to place near their buildings.

    “”We have designers, architects and city planners; it is an amazing group of people,”” said Guerin. “”When it is our money spent, we decide what goes where, but when it is a department’s money, we help advise them and make sure the quality level is kept high with all art.””

    Shell said public art aspires to connect with the public at large.

    “”We want to pick artwork that can be universal and represents the university in different ways,”” Shell said.

    Those representations are not always understood by UA all students, but students such as Rachel Padilla, a musicology graduate student, still enjoy the art.

    “”Regardless of knowledge of what something may mean, I think most of the art around campus really brightens up the area,”” said Padilla.

    Lawrence Willie, a studio art sophomore, suggested that students take more time to appreciate the art around campus.

    “”I think the majority of people just walk by, but those who take the time to really look might find something interesting,”” said Willie.

    One-half of 1 percent of construction costs for new university buildings with budgets over $4 million and one-quarter of 1 percent from buildings with a total budget under $4 million are collected into a public art fund in order to erect art around campus.

    “”This is a great university, and the art should reflect that,”” said Guerin.

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