Visual arts are gravely ignored at Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac University blatantly neglects art being shown on campus walls

Ian Addison, Contributing Writer

For sale: art students, never used.

Quinnipiac University is not an art school, but here I am; a senior graphic and interactive design major with a focus in illustration. I knew this going in, and I knew it would take a few years attending Quinnipiac before the school would be receptive to constructive critique. It has not gotten there yet, so I do what I can.

Since the university’s initial establishment in 1929, the performing arts were finally provided with individual buildings for theatre and music in 2017. There is also an art room: a single, small, overcrowded room in Tator Hall, with limited (and often misused) supplies and absolutely no artwork hanging on its walls. There is no artwork hanging on practically any wall on campus (aside from a few I helped put up in the Center for Communications and Engineering rotunda).

Victoria Lorenz

Actual student work is overlooked for the bland announcements left on the Student Center’s bulletin board. Murals on walls, decorating corridors with curated work and showing any sign of artistic growth at this institution of higher learning would be a solution to the monotonous decor.

No one says “Look at the new artwork in that building or on that wall.”

Instead, the Quinnipiac community says: A new Starbucks? Yes. A new sushi vendor? Yep. A new Au Bon Pain? Of course. A new incoming pub on York Hill? Soon. Changes to the School of Business? To the Residence Halls? Overcrowded living spaces? Overcrowded parking spaces? Lack of learning spaces? Lack of diversity? Lack of empathy? Lack of acceptance?

Art is a universal language, able to bind the ideological notion of feeling fruitful and alive without dismissing the beliefs of another human being. Art is also pure, and it also allows us to feel alive in everything we touch through the disciplined understanding of emotional value. We are social creatures who could be talking about the new artwork on that building or on that wall, instead, we talk about the new drama in a residential building or the new post on a social media wall. Share this on your wall, let the university know you care about the arts. Let the Quinnipiac administration talk about it.

I would give Quinnipiac credit for being consistent here if they gave students something other than credits for being in art courses. Artists are the imagination architects with the undying passion to express their emotions, whether or not it is accepted.

I acknowledge that this university gravely ignores the visual arts at Quinnipiac. This has my limited attention, the least amount of support I can possibly supply as a student obtaining a degree from the institution.

If Quinnipiac wants to stand on a podium and make themselves feel big, it is not subtle. If Quinnipiac’s lack of creativity helps the school call themselves substantial in the development of innovative thought, then the power is on them. Quinnipiac is effective in their authority, it blacks out all the light. Is it a blackout if the power is on, or is the switch upside down? Are they up above us, or are they standing on a podium? It is not subtle, it is ignorance.

The school removed the art outside of the classroom in Tator Hall because it looked like it was done by children. I am unsure what Quinnipiac is looking for, perhaps they could put up reprints of artwork created in the senior design capstone or in higher-level fine arts courses. Students need a designated, prominent area to showcase their artistic work. Alternatively, they could have kept up all of the artwork, as it is completely patronizing to demean someone’s creativity and make them feel like their work has no meaning. Being that they did not keep anything up, let us hope for the best that they take initiative — not soon, but now.

A professor of graphic and interactive design (GID) said, “We need the arts. Historically it tells us who we are as individuals and as a society. Where would we be without art?!”

They are correct. Vincent van Gogh wrote in a letter, “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” He is also correct. This is my own attempt to have courage and turn the spotlight on something the university has lacked. I am standing up for what I know is correct … and I don’t need a podium to do so.