By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
While the architecture here at UMass Dartmouth is certainly unique, it’s not what anyone would call colorful, lively, or nice to look at.
Outside of the CVPA, the designated building for fun and creativity, there isn’t too much in the realm of exciting art or colorful installations. Everywhere you look in the CVPA, there’s a weird and wonderful art piece that holds your attention.
This spring semester, students have a chance to bring that CVPA vibe across campus to the Liberal Arts building. The “UMass D Student Art Project” is a contest being held this semester to implement an art piece somewhere in LARTS.
The contest was created by the Student Government Association and the Center for Undisciplined Research in order to help improve the aesthetic of the campus while also giving professional opportunities for students on campus.
“Something that people don’t realize,” said Brian Towne, SRA of Elmwood and one of the minds behind the contest, “is that the concrete, while it might look sort of unappealing, is absolutely perfect to put artwork on because it’s a neutral background.”
If you aren’t an art student, fret not, because the contest is open to all students on campus, no matter the major. You’re also allowed to work in groups, provided they’re all registered in the competition. Anyone has a chance to win, whether it’s a group of sculpture students or one biology student.
Any reasonable kind of art installation will be considered. You could create a painting, a sculpture, a mural, some sort of hanging mobile, anything that you could see impressing students in LARTS.
There are three places in LARTS your piece could go, and it’s recommended that you choose first, plan second. One location is in the second atrium of the building, next to the walkway under the “Portuguese Studies and Culture” sign.
The second location is on the wall down in the corner alcove in the same atrium, above the orange cushions.
The third is at the very end of the building, opposite the vending machine by the entrance facing Dion. It would be visible as you enter through the door, and its proximity to an electrical outlet makes it the best choice for something with light or sound.
Now, this isn’t a contest where everyone creates a piece for a panel of judges to inspect. The most important part of the process here is the proposal: everyone sends in a proposal for their idea, including a good-sized description and a sketch, and one will be selected based on potential, feasibility, and theme.
The proposals will be selected by a team of four people: two students, and two CVPA faculty members.
There are four themes your art piece can embody, and the more you incorporate, the better. These themes are sustainability, music, local cultures, and music.
If you think you’ve got the creativity and talent to be selected, there’s more at stake than just improving the campus’ aesthetic.
The student or students whose proposal is chosen will receive a $2,000 budget for supplies, and a $1,000 honorarium for winning and creating art for the school.
“It also gives the students that we bring into the project a professional opportunity;” said Towne, “this is something after they graduate, where they can say that they worked on a professionally commissioned piece for the university, which is great for their resume.”
The deadline for submission of your proposal is February 16, and the winning proposal will be selected on February 23.
From there, the art piece will be completed by April 16, and the finished product will be unveiled on April 20, during the chancellor’s inauguration.
If you can’t get a proposal in on time, or you just aren’t feeling the creative juices this semester, this may not be your last chance to decorate the campus.
“The hope is that this isn’t just a one-off project, but that this is a recurring project that happens every single year in different locations around the school,” said Towne optimistically.
More information about the contest can be found at this link: sites.google.com/view/studentartproject/home.
If you have a bright idea to spice up the walls of LARTS, submit a proposal and get designing.