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Art wall comes down, but will rise again

The art wall across from the SUS office in C Building was painted over last week after students’ interpretation of the words “NO LIMITS” led to the posting of offensive and juvenile scripts and illustrations.

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By Alex Rake (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: October 15, 2014

Public expression took over what was originally intended to be an “artistic conversation.” (Image: Valerie Franklin)

Public expression took over what was originally intended to be an “artistic conversation.” (Image: Valerie Franklin)

The art wall across from the SUS office in C Building was painted over last week after students’ interpretation of the words “NO LIMITS” led to the posting of offensive and juvenile scripts and illustrations.

The visual arts department gave the wall to the Visual Arts Student Association (VASA) to use for VASA projects. According to department head Jill Bain, “The idea was that it would become a space for creative communication that would serve to inspire those who participated, and those who viewed it.”

The instructions on the wall read, “This is a wall of conversation. Contribute how you like … add anything! Draw on the wall, pin up a sketch, or write a comment! NO LIMITS.”

While there were some constructive contributions to the wall, the space was mostly used as a public soapbox and graffiti wall instead of a place of artistic dialogue. Bain explains, “VASA didn’t have time to put up signage that would describe the purpose of the wall before it became a free-for-all space.”

SUS president Ryan Petersen, whose office is across from the wall, agrees that proper signage might have made the project more successful.

“It was really slow to start,” he says. “There were a few signs saying ‘this is your wall, make it yours,’ and I guess no one really knew what to do with it.”

Petersen thinks the content of the art wall would be improved either by moving to a less public place or by using more explicit signage. In any case, he hopes the best for the project’s future: “I like interactive pieces like that. I feel that’s what a university environment is all about.”

The re-painting is a result of meetings between VASA and the art faculty. VASA intends to start the project again, this time with clearer signage.

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