One man’s trash, another’s treasure: how print media fundraising reuses abandoned art

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Artworks displayed outside the printmaking studios are available for students to purchase. Photo by Johanna Alonso.

Most of the student works hung along the walls of the Beaux-Arts building are accompanied by an instruction not to touch them. But there is one exception: on the second floor of the building, there is a hallway where passers-by are not only allowed but even encouraged to remove the art from the wall and bring it home (for a small fee, of course). .

“Sometimes students forget to collect their artwork at the end of the semester,” explained Chris Peregoy, the art printing program manager. Each student has about a week after the end of the semester to collect his work in the workshops, otherwise it will be collected by the department. “We had three or four drawers and we didn’t know what to do with them. “

This is what inspired the visual arts department to start a fundraiser in which anyone could purchase art that had been “given or left here over the years” by students using the facilities. engraving, according to the signage accompanying the engravings. To purchase one, students only need to remove the print from the wall and bring it to the art print office on the third floor of Beaux-Arts. There they can pay with their campus card. Each print costs five dollars.

“The teachers asked, ‘Why don’t we sell [the prints] for ten or fifteen dollars? Well, the students wouldn’t buy them then, ”Peregoy said.

At present, the department gives the money it earns directly to the benefit of the printmaking studio. This is used to fund a sample book demonstrating what the different types of printing processes look like when used on different types of paper. Peregoy estimates that this fundraiser has raised around $ 140 per semester since its launch.

Alayna Cavey, a senior financial and middle school economics graduate who is currently enrolled in several printmaking courses, sees another benefit to fundraising: sustainability. “I think it’s a great idea to fundraise for the department, as the other options for these are to throw away or recycle when possible,” she explained. “It cuts down on wasted paper and also gives students’ artwork a second chance. “

Printmaking courses fall under the Print Media Concentration of the Department of Visual Arts, led by Associate Professor Irene Chan, although students of different concentrations may also use the courses to meet their requirement for an elective course in the studio. higher level.

The variety of prints on display at the Beaux-Arts can be attributed to the wide range of projects that Chan and other printmaking teachers give to their students. For example, one of Chan’s homework in Introductory Printmaking class asks students to base their impression on a quote about the number zero. Another asks them to design a print inspired by one of the many descriptions in Italo Calvino’s book “Invisible cities.

“What’s really good is that within every class project there is a lot of room for individuality, because the way they do it can be very different from that of another member of the class. class, ”Chan said.

Another of the greatest attractions of printmaking lessons is the ability to work and share material with other students. “It’s really a community space. People tell me they’re used to working alone – it’s really lonely, ”Chan explained. “But when they take a printmaking class, they share the studio, they share the space.” It also allows students to help each other when they are having difficulty with the equipment and need help with troubleshooting.

Chan encourages interested students to consider a print media minor – even if they aren’t visual arts majors, and especially now that the visual arts department is getting rid of the portfolio requirement for minors. . “It’s really interesting when the people taking the courses are other majors,” she said. “They bring a different sensibility and different experiences.”

For more information, contact Irene Chan by email at [email protected]. And to pick up a work of art to take home, visit the Beaux-Arts building, where the prints can be found in the hallway outside the printmaking studios (rooms 207, 208, 216 and 218).

Johanna alonso


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