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Ohio State Arts Scholars’ exhibition goes green

Nadine Akra / Lantern reporter

Ohio State students are not only using art to display their talents in the annual Arts Scholars exhibition, but they’re also using it to bring attention to environmental issues.

The 2012 Arts Scholars Juried Exhibition, “How Do You Feel About ‘Green’?” features some OSU students’ portrayals of environmental responsibility, sustainability and “going green” at the OSU Urban Arts Space.

The exhibit is running until April 21.

“The students wanted to create a theme that was open-ended enough that everyone, all of the artists, could think about it in a different way,” said Tim Valentine, the Arts Scholars program manager. “Some of the students decided to use recycled materials in their project. Some of them utilized the color green. Some students took it really far and thought about how they could incorporate live things.”

Emily Katze, a fourth-year in arts management and business administration, used a green-painted tractor hood with moss and ivy grown to craft the words, “It will happen someday.”

“There’s actually moss growing on one of the projects,” Valentine said. “‘How Do You Feel About ‘Green’?’ was kind of that open-ending way to attract artists to put work into the exhibit that was just off the wall, out of the box, but still kind of related to this idea of being green or sustainability.”

The contributed artwork for the annual exhibition came from various majors and interests, not just art students.

“Some of the best pieces in the show are done by a biology major who’s been in the exhibit for the past four years,” Valentine said.

One of the main objectives of the annual show is to give students the opportunity to exhibit their work. It allows them to display art in a public setting and gives the Columbus and OSU community a chance to see what they have been working on.

Teaching students how to price their work and design around a theme are important, Valentine said.

“The artists get a taste of what gallery art is all about as they go through the process of proposals to jurors selecting the winners of the show,” said MaKenzie Frank, a fourth-year in art and student coordinator of the exhibition. “Getting to host the show at the Urban Arts Space also gives these up-and-coming artists an opportunity to get their art out into the public sphere.”

A piece titled “Screwed Over” by Michelle Vieira, a first-year in art, won Best of Show. “Screwed Over” was a mosaic of shredded money in the form of a bird, with trash glued over it.

“I focused on the effects of pollution so the whole piece was made out of shredded money, and I wanted to show how America, especially, puts so much money into all these efforts to unpollute the environment,” Vieira said. “But at the same time, it’s already taken its toll over years and years of pollution, litter, and waste.”

Jordan Boeke, a third-year in marketing, said he had to look at the piece a couple of times to recognize the shape of the bird with a fish in its mouth.

“You really have to look at it a couple times to see what it actually is,” Boeke said. “It’s kind of a play on money and recyclable stuff. We have the arts scholars addressing environmental concerns and the need for recycling and people to think twice before you throw away a plastic bottle, or maybe going to using reusable bottles instead of buying plastic bottles all the time.”

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