Alana George, Campus Carrier Asst. Arts & Living Editor
Provost Mary Boyd is working with the art department to arrange a display of student art in her office and the hallway leading to her office in Hermann Hall. This display is the first installation of its kind seen at Berry, and both Boyd and the art department are excited for the opportunity to showcase student talent.
“In a previous institution, I also liked to put student art in my office,” Boyd said. “I think that the role of the dean or provost is really to showcase work of the students and faculty, including art. I was really interested in doing that here as well.”
Boyd selected pieces from the fall “Select” show, which showcased student art across all of the art classes offered during the semester.
“I was there when some of the students were able to talk about their artwork,” Boyd said. “I went through the ones in the room and some of them resonated with me for various reasons.”
Boyd ensured full student representation with her choices for the display.
“We’ve identified at least one piece from each of the different classes in the fall semester, because I really wanted everybody who sees the pieces to see the variety of different disciplines and media that are used,” Boyd said.
Boyd is excited for the whole campus to see the artwork displayed in Hermann.
“When it’s all hanging, I’m going to have a gallery opening as they do in Moon,” Boyd said. “We’ll do one here and we’ll invite the campus to come and see.”
This endeavor would not have been possible without the art department. J. Bradley Adams, associate professor of art and the coordinator of the Moon gallery, has been instrumental in getting the art that Boyd picked prepared for the display. Adams said that Boyd reached out to him in November proposing the idea for the display. He said the hold-up has been getting cases prepared for some of the ceramic pieces, to ensure their safety in the hallway.
As for the media of art represented in the display, Adams said that there are many present, including graphite, watercolor, digital printed art and more. He cited bright colors and non-controversial material as a common theme among the pieces Boyd chose.
Adams is hopeful that this will be a continuously changing display as new students showcase new art pieces every semester.
“We were really pleased that she wanted to have the work for a couple months,” Adams said. “Once we get the cases I can just start rotating stuff through.”
One of the student artists featured in the display is senior Erin Shetler. She painted a series of five oil self-portraits, in which she is wearing her wedding dress. Boyd picked two of them to hang in her office.
Shetler said that her body of work over the semester boiled down to two series for her pre-thesis class, one of them being the wedding dress paintings.
“The whole semester I was focusing on the way that we view ourselves and think about ourselves, and specifically doing that through myself, because I can’t really see how other people view themselves,” Shetler said.
The main inspiration behind the wedding dress paintings, according to Shetler, was letting the audience share a special moment with her.
“I actually really just had a lot of photos of myself trying on wedding dresses from whenever I went to shop,” Shetler said. “It was this idea of allowing people to look into a personal moment of my life and allowing people to look at me looking at myself.”
The display is up now on the first floor of Hermann Hall.