Although the college’s campus art committee is only one year old, artistic changes to the offices and waiting areas in the Administration Building are already visible. The six-member committee is now looking to acquire artwork from various Study-Service Term locations.
The purpose of the committee is to coordinate the display of art on campus in a manner consistent with the values and mission of the college, enhance the resources of art on campus and communicate the purposes and values of art.
Although the idea of a campus art committee was thought of decades ago, it was not until John Blosser, professor of art and chair of the committee, started teaching at the college in 1999, that things began taking action. After its proposition in 2006, the committee was officially formed last year.
The committee consists of Blosser; Gwen Penner, associate professor of art; Jim Caskey, director of major gifts; Rebecca Hernandez, CITL project director; Solomia Soroka, associate professor of music; and Annali Smucker, a junior.
“Having members from outside the art department offers a broader scope of ideas and energy to the task,” Blosser said.
The committee is currently making an effort to gather artwork from Study-Service Term countries, to be displayed by the international education office. Since the college has been involved with nearly 40 countries over the past 40 years, select artwork from regions around the world are being chosen to display.
Currently, there is a new major work from a Costa Rican artist displayed in the executive offices. Costa Rica is the country with the longest history of Study-Service Term. Artwork from China, Cuba, Haiti and Senegal has also been purchased, and will be made visible over the summer.
“[We’re] helping people understand how art and the designed environment reflects who we are and how we see ourselves,” said Blosser. “Art can also call us to deeper understandings of larger issues and sometimes challenges common perceptions.”