Posting Date: June 23, 2010

3-D design class creates “Intersection of Cultures”

Artwork installed in Social Sciences Building atrium

By Rochelle S. Wilson

"Intersection of Cultures" artwork on the donor wall of the Social Sciences Building atrium

Lizards lounge, dragons curl, and flowers sparkle in the “Intersection of Cultures.” The artwork, located on the donor wall of the Social Sciences Building atrium, was created by Assistant Professor Maria Sarmiento’s 3-D design class in the fall of 2008 to recognize financial contributors to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

When Sarmiento was asked to create the artwork, she knew immediately that it would be a student-focused project. She first proposed the project to the class and had the students brainstorm ideas. Students each submitted an idea, and those ideas were narrowed down to two main ones. Two teams were formed to create a model for each idea and the models were then taken to a committee in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for selection. After the design was selected, many revisions were made as students submitted various aspects of the project for approval.

Sarmiento notes that this is exactly what happens in public art, and that this was a good way for students to “get their feet wet.” Visual arts junior Bradley Lewis says, “This project prepared me for approaching a client and taught me how to work on a site-specific project with a client. It taught me how to approach art in a more business-like way, which I thought was a wonderful aspect to the project.”

Students created every aspect of the artwork, from the original sketches to the final product. The majority of the materials were recyclables. Sarmiento collected materials from nearly every building on campus, and the students brought objects from their dorms and items they had been collecting. They collaborated on the design by giving each other feedback as to what could be used and where. Lewis comments, “It was fun experimenting and seeing what worked and what didn’t work. And I really enjoyed working with other people.”

The project had two main goals: to create art for the donor wall and to provide students with some real-world design experience. Sarmiento says, “The project was successful in the sense that it was very well done, it was approved the way the client wanted it, and it’s something that the donors can be proud of when they come.”



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