19
Nov
10

Official Opinions: Why Art Matters

I’m going to say it right away. This post is a shameless plug. “BOOOOO PLUGS!!!” I know. Berate me all you want, but I’m really proud of the exhibit that my Visual Communication III class at Loyola University Chicago put together, and I want to talk about the show and why you should attend. First of all, let me clarify what Visual Communication is for those of you who were unsure. It’s just a fancy term that those book learnin’ people came up with for graphic design. I love my VisCom major. It gives me the opportunity to better express myself through art. The beautiful thing about art is that it has its own world in which anything that can be imagined, can be created. This freedom to create is something that’s hard to attain through other aspects of life, and that’s part of the reason for my deep love of the arts. As an event planning company that books live music, Stitely Entertainment is a great supporter of the arts as well. It’s one of the things I really appreciate about working with Stitely.

In my VisCom III class, our professor presented us with the dilemma that schools are facing in that the arts programs are almost always the first thing to go when a budgeting issue arises. The exhibit, in her mind, was going to be our way to prove why the arts matter. However, the class decided to take it in a slightly different direction. We wanted to show that art mattered to more people than just our class. It’s very easy for an artist to put together an exhibit in which he or she explains why art matters to them. I feel our inspiration was to go beyond that point and show that art matters not only to the artist, but to the viewer as well. After a few meetings, we had finally decided on a format for the exhibit.

One of the main pieces of the show is a series of responses from members of the Loyola community answering why art matters to them. We interviewed students and had them write down their response. After they answered, we took a portrait of them. The portrait and response were both integrated into a poster for the show. These cover one of the walls in the gallery.

The second part of the show consists of individual pieces from each of the students in the class showing why art matters to them. This aspect of the show was an opportunity for each of us to display total freedom of expression and I think our class did a most excellent job of putting together pieces that represented themselves in a unique way. It’s easy to see everyone’s personality in their work. It’s great.

The final piece to the show directly involves the viewer. We set up a wall so that the visitor has the chance to write why art matters to them on the wall itself. I think this is probably the coolest part of the show. Honestly, when was the last time you were able to walk into an art gallery and write on the walls? YOU get to write on the walls. YOU are the artist. Let that sink in.

Anyway, what I’m hoping this post does is cause some interest among the readers to visit the gallery and see the show we put together. It took a lot of time to get the exhibit together, and as I said earlier, I’m very proud of the final result. Why Art Matters: A Student Arts Advocacy Project opens Thursday, November 18 at 5 p.m. at the Ralph Arnold Fine Arts Gallery located at 1131 W. Sheridan Ave. The exhibit will run through January 22, 2011. Make the trip out there. You won’t regret it. Have a most excellent weekend.

–Taylor

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