Posting Date: February 25, 2010

KSU students reflect on educational retreat in “Visions of Arcosanti”
Exhibition showcases student art inspired by premier architect Paolo Soleri
By Tabatha Wahlquist

Visions Gallery at the University Village Suites

Visions Student Art Guild of Kennesaw State University will host the “Visions of Arcosanti” student art exhibition, opening March 15 at the Visions Gallery at the University Village Suites. April Marten, president of Visions, will oversee the event. The exhibition will showcase the work of KSU students who attended a retreat last December in Mayer, Ariz. The retreat was not only a chance for students to relax and unwind after finals, but also an opportunity to encounter the work of premier architect Paolo Soleri.

Soleri was born in Turin, Italy, in 1919 and earned his doctorate in architecture from the Torino Polytechno in 1946. In 1947 he came to the United States where he studied under famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. While studying with Wright, Soleri gained international acclaim for a bridge design later displayed at the Museum of Modern Art and appearing in “The Architecture of Bridges” by Elizabeth Mock.

Since 1956, Soleri has made a lifelong commitment to research and experimentation in urban planning. To further his mission, Soleri and his late wife Colly founded the Cosanti Foundation, a not-for-profit educational foundation. The foundation’s major project is Arcosanti, a prototype town designed by Soleri that has been under construction since 1970.

Located in central Arizona, the project represents Soleri’s theme of “Arcology,” architecture coherent with ecology. Arcology advocates the minimal use of energy, raw materials and land, as well as reducing waste and environmental pollution. It is Soleri’s vision that by practicing Arcology it will allow for better interaction with the surrounding natural environment.

When KSU students went to Arizona in December, they had the opportunity to stay at the construction site for Arcosanti. Explains Marten, “It was a creativity retreat open to all students—not just art students—to gain ideas for future work in music, poetry or visual arts.” For the exhibition opening March 15, students were asked to create a piece that represents what the trip meant to them—particularly a piece representing the beauty of the surroundings they encountered.

Visions is a registered student organization at KSU. Its mission is to stimulate awareness in the visual arts among KSU students, faculty and staff. Visions sponsors student art exhibitions and art related activities on and off campus. The student art guild also promotes and inspires visual art while giving all students the opportunity to publicly show their work with the goal of advancing students’ public recognition and bolstering art careers. “We truly want our art guild to collaborate with other disciplines, so it is open to everyone,” says Marten.

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