I noticed a small painting project going on between A and B buildings — on the brick wall near the benches. It made me wish there was more of it. A mural does a great job of breaking up the monotony of institutionalism.
There is not enough art on UFV campuses. The campus is situated in a beautiful place, but there’s not enough art on it. What I imagine are massive murals across UFV buildings, though I do mean all sorts of art. Put a sculpture installment near the King Road entrance roundabout drop off; paint the north wall of E building psychedelic colours; display sculpture projects beside UFV Abbotsford’s interlocking paths or in CEP A building’s courtyard.
Visual Arts 390 (Community Arts Practice) painted a mural in the Campus Recreation tent at CEP, and on the storage sea cans near the Student Union Building (SUB) and C building. Visual Arts 232 (Sculpture and Extended Media II) is the class responsible for the various sculptures placed around campus at the end of the semester — easily my favourite time to be on campus. Despite major underfunding, the VA program still does what it’s supposed to.
The City of Abbotsford has partnered with VA 390 every year since 2010. Think of all the massive murals UFV could have if courses like VA 390 painted something on campus each semester.
I will say there are pieces of fine artwork around UFV, most are just hidden in low traffic parts of campus — in conference rooms or offices. The third floor of the SUB, for example, features a stunning series of three paintings. The theme of the series is the misrepresentation of Islam, and features three paintings of Arab scientists from the Golden Era of Islam, painted by a UFV alumni — yet it’s hidden away, way up on the third floor. The S’ELIYEMETAXWTEX Gallery in B building is generally in use, which is nice.
But what I’m talking about is public art. Art that gets put on a wall and it stays there until someone else puts art on the wall overtop. It’s sort of like graffiti, but graffiti is generally a dirty word — until you think about the most artistically positive and cultured cities in the world: Queens, New York; Paris, France; Zürich, Switzerland — they all allow graffiti in certain parts of the city.
I’d love to see UFV’s student talent boasted across UFV buildings. Let them make a statement, push some boundaries, explore art, explore passion. Tell the story of students’ creative growth and their journey as an artist. Murals tell a story worth sharing — blank walls do not.
There should be so many art projects and commissioned murals around UFV that I start wandering around campus for the sights.
Let’s add some soul to this campus. It’ll sound like a better idea as the great ennui of winter returns. Also, take down the WWI trench.
Summation: Employ graded UFV students to decorate their place of learning with what they learned. And I wanted to say that VA 390 and VA 232 are my favourite classes at UFV, though I haven’t taken either.