Students’ curiosity arose as new art pieces appeared in Honors dorms. They wondered: Who created these masterpieces, and what do they mean? Perhaps students didn’t notice them, or maybe shot a glance… not thinking anything more than something hung up for students to interpret on their own. This is how artist, and art professor, Robert Barnum explains them: “Almost all generations today are driven by performance,” he said. The art pieces aren’t to be compared to the average creations we see in today’s world. The idea of having somewhat-abstract art in the dorms would affect students over time, not in a sole glance. Each time a student sees an Honors art piece, it’ll leave a new impression on them. They’re intended to make the viewer think and formulate their own interpretation, building memory responses over time… a memory that makes the dorm much more personal to them.
Maude Bigford, previous Honors Director, approached Professor Barnum last spring. She asked him to install art pieces in the Honors halls. “Art is our weak point,” Barnum disclosed. “Maude wanted to expand the dynamics of the residence halls with a statement.” The sculptures achieved Maude’s goal. The designs were inspired by the five goals of the Honors Program: scholarship (Ward Hall), global consciousness (Miller Hall), community (Pickell Hall), leadership (Henderson Hall), and culture (Puterbaugh Hall). Each piece differs slightly, but includes the Honors Program pillar head emblem to maintain consistency. Professor Barnum conjured up the designs, but wanted his art students to contribute to the process of creating the final project. Working diligently to transfer hand drawn designs to a digital format, Honors architecture student Erin Martin contributed to the success of this in-depth assignment. Professor Barnum collaborated with many students from his art classes to cut the pieces and weld them together. After, they were painted at an auto body shop to give lasting color.
The Honors Program students have been asked to decide upon the names of the artwork to contribute to the intended personal aspect of the sculptures. The names can be abstract and ambiguous, like the pieces. If you have ideas for names, please tweet @HonorsEndeavor, or @FerrisHonors.
This article was written by Endeavor staff member Melanie Lobsinger.