A series of collaborative art projects are being placed on campus by students in studio practices class taught by Adjunct Professor of Art and Visual Culture Totem Shriver.
The students’ latest project is an 8-foot-tall sculpture consisting of several large panels, painted by students in the class, attached to three large cubes. It is on display in front of the Miller Fine Arts building.
It may also be used as a prop in the McMinnville Alien Daze Parade that will take place on May 17.
“One thing that’s interesting about this project is that it has form as well as function. The fact that I am going to live in it is pretty interesting,” Shriver said.
Shriver plans to haul this structure to the burning man festival and live in it until the last day of the festival.
“This project is meant to be art for public consumption instead of something that just stays in the studio,” Shriver said.
Shriver encourages people to walk inside of the sculpture and to interact with it.
“We put stuff like this up around campus, but no one really knows why,” junior and biology major Lindsay Scott said “We do it for all the students. We want them to check them out and come and play.”
The collaboration projects also help students learn how to work with others.
“Sometimes it can be really hard because some people have really strong ideas,” Scott said, “But I think working collaboratively really challenges you to be able to take an idea you have and be willing to mold it into something everyone can hold on to.”
“At times it’s difficult to come up with a consensus, but it forces you to all have a vision together. With individual work, your personal work is more evident, but working with others, your work turns into play,” junior and studio art major Ivan Colin said about working collaboratively with the class.
Shriver says that working collaboratively is one of the biggest challenges, but also one of the most necessary.
“You’re always going to be a part of society and we are always going to be dependent on other people,” Shriver said. “Also, I think greater things can be achieved through many people instead of one—and that’s a good lesson to learn.”
“I think as artists, working with other artists, you can get a lot of different view-points that don’t agree, but in this class we didn’t really have anyone butting-heads. We just had a lot of ideas working together,” said Louie Deraita, a sophomore and mass communication major, “We really enhanced each others’ work.”
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Heather Brooks can be reached