Art exhibit fosters creative outlet for faculty

Iraiza de Vera, Arts & Entertainment Contributor

Participation in the 6th annual OSU staff art exhibit has been growing and is now at the highest it has been in all of the exhibit’s existence. There are almost 100 pieces and over 50 artists involved from a variety of departments on campus. Shelly Signs, director of University Events, encouraged staff members to share their work in any way suitable for them. The exhibit features artwork from faculty and even some of their spouses.

She believes, “if you are helping supporting the mission of OSU, then you are eligible to participate in this show.”

Faculty produced different forms of art, such as photography, acrylic paintings, and poetry to display. Some artists like Hank Kemper from parking services and Anika Lautenbach from the Academic Success Center encompassed mixed media to express themselves. Special recognition was given to faculty members through various awards. These awards include: Best in Show, given to Dudley Chelton from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences for his photograph entitled Rising from the Mist, the Vice President’s choice, given to Cub Kahn from the Center for Teaching and Learning for his photograph entitled Cattail Wind Dance I and the President’s choice, given to Shoichi Kimura from Chemical Engineering Emeritus for her oil paintings Time Slip and In Soft Beams of Sunlight.

The staff art exhibit started when President Ray attended a meeting with the Association of Office Professionals and the Professional Faculty Leadership Association. The AOP did a show-and-tell of their artwork that inspired Ray to create a showcase for all of campus to enjoy.  Every piece of art in the exhibit has a placard with the artist’s name and how they are involved at OSU.

As a faculty member, Signs states, “we all have much richer lives than the one of just our work.” She expressed the goal of this exhibit is to “go beyond the face that we see every day.”

The relationships she develops with the artists are special to her because she gets “the opportunity to engage with her coworkers all over campus and have the conversation of showing their work”, even if they are unsure how to approach it. Not only do staff members get to express themselves creatively through this showcase, but they also get to bring more name recognition to the area they are dedicated to. Signs hopes staff members will continue to share their work and motivate their peers to take “the courage to put it out there for others to see.” She encourages anyone on campus to “go enjoy the show.”

The 6th annual OSU staff art exhibit is on display in the Guistina Gallery of the LaSells Stewart Center. It is open from 8am to 5pm and will be displayed until Jan. 23. It is free for anyone who wants to experience it.

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