A movement to add more public displays of art that represents the vibrant diversity and perspectives of our students has been gaining momentum at LMU. The university’s Committee on Public Art and Images, along with input from ASLMU, plans to deploy more student art around campus to add to the voices represented, and make the joy of our campus community all the more apparent.
LMU’s Committee on Public Art and Images is a group of students, staff and faculty members committed to advocating for inclusive and diverse art on campus. The committee meets every other month and pitches their concepts to university leadership. Their goal is to make student art a living project on campus, where students can submit art to be displayed for a number of years. Much like exhibitions, new art will cycled in to allow more voices and a feeling of refreshed perspectives. The art installations will add to and complement a number of existing, fixed murals and art pieces that are already located around campus.
This movement was born out of one of the campaign promises of 2021-22 ASLMU President Brion Dennis and Vice President Camille Orozco, who pledged to diversify art on campus by establishing a connection with the committee. Dennis appointed sophomore senator and art history major Abbey Wineglass to serve on the committee on behalf of ASLMU in the fall.
Wineglass, a sophomore ASLMU senator and art history major, serves on the committee. “We’re looking for anything that represents LMU and give the student artists the opportunity to tap into what they think and feel about LMU.”
Wineglass said that following a year of remote learning, LMU means different things to different students now than compared to a few years ago, and the art on the walls should represent that. There is a mural on the first floor of Malone that celebrates the 100-year anniversary of LMU, which Wineglass hopes can be updated with more current student art.
“All the students in the mural have graduated so students don’t have as much of a connection with it,” Wineglass said. “Students should be able to look at the wall and feel a connection to the images they see. We are connecting with several committees who are trying to get art on campus, such as the Black student space.”
Jade Smith, the associate dean of students, has served on the committee for three years as a student affairs representative. Smith said the committee is focusing on updating art in Malone in particular because of its role as a student hub on campus, serving as home to ASLMU, the Lion’s Den, Sorority and Fraternity Life and other student-run organizations.
“Campus art is so important to our campus community, and displaying student art is a great way to celebrate our students,” Smith said. “It’s about figuring out how we make student art a more permanent installation in various places and space on campus.”
Smith said after Malone, the committee is considering student art installations in other spaces with Student Affairs offices, such as Student Psychological Services and the Student Health Services, the Center for Service and Action, the Student Housing Office and also in residence halls.
ASLMU president Brion Dennis said they are particularly interested in seeing the implementation of student art in outdoor spaces as well, such as the walkway to Rosecrans from parking lot H or by the Tenderich basketball court.
“If we have any pride in the strength of our student’s art, then we should give them a platform to become a part of the university’s history,” Dennis said. “When future students look back at photos of LMU, these public images become a snapshot of how people were thinking about the world at the time.”
The display of student art would also be a great opportunity for art students to build their resumes, ASLMU vice president Camille Orozco said.
“We should not only give students the education to build their artistry, but also gain real life experiences,” she said. “I often think what it would be like if I could go back and see LMU for the first time again or try to imagine the perspective of someone touring campus – in that situation, what I would be excited to see on the walls?”