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Students collaborate for the arts

New graphic design artwork incorportingthe Creative Writing program at the University is now displayed at three shuttle stops on campus.

The artwork of Sonya Ives is inspired by creative writing students at the University. The new artwork is displayed in the shelters at the shuttle stops near the visitor’s center, the Centrex building and between MacDonald and the Union.

The project was a collaboration of the Honors Program, creative writing program and the graphic design program to promote awareness of the arts and the creative writing program on campus, according to Ives.

Ives, a senior majoring in graphic design, created three separate pieces of art, each seven feet wide that represents the imagery and excerpts from University student’s poems.

The excerpts were taken from poems in Prairie Margins, a undergraduate publication put out by the creative writing program.

At the shuttle stop by the Union, Joseph Kane is quoted “Champagne yellow-orange-pink highway light tracks back and forth making a cycle of stale illumination and shadow” from his work ‘Somewhere from Leonard Wood to Home.

Ives said she picked the excerpts by selecting “the most beautiful pieces that had deep meaning, strong theories and deep issues.”

The name of the author is located on the bottom right corner of the artwork.

Garrett Grier, freshman, noticed the new art at the Union and MacDonald shuttle stop when he first walked in.

Grier said “initially, I probably would have gotten a public announcement feel from it,” because of it’s

location. But after he noticed the Ford Cougar car symbol in the art, he said that it appeared more to him as a graphic design project.

Todd Childers, associate professor of graphic design, served as an adviser to Ives on the graphic design aspect of the project.

Childers said this project was a “big endeavor and she pulled it off very well,” adding that a majority of the photos were her own. He liked how Ives encoporated her own photographs in the artwork.

Ives wanted to give creative writing majors an opportunity to stand out.

“Our creative writing majors are so talented, and their works are not read widely because they aren’t published yet,” she said.

Ives had to go through a series of processes to get her work displayed at the shuttle stops. An agreement from all the different groups had to be made as well as approval from the honor’s program. She also had to get funding and the permission to display it in the shuttle stops.

Wendell Mayo, professor of creative writing and one of Ives’ senior honors project advisers, said “I think what’s really super about the way she did this, is she looked at this not as a project, but a process.”

Members of the creative writing faculty and graphic arts department, along with Mayo have worked with Ives’ through this process.

The purpose is to “use the occasion to promote the creative writing program, beautify the campus and raise awareness of arts on campus,” Mayo said.

Ives said the installations will “increase the awareness and visibility of art on campus.”

The installations were not only done as a project to complete her honors degree, but as a way to promote the creative writing program on campus.

They are designed to have two points of reference according to Ives. When standing far away, the art work and quote are visible and the closer you are to the art, you can see the small paragraphs about the creative writing program.

Mayo said an interesting thing about the installations is Sonya’s collaborative component of taking the student’s words and converting it into a graphic representation.

Fred Smith, a shuttle service manager, was in charge of having the artwork hung up in the shuttle stops. Smith used a self-adhesive to hang the art and covered them with Plexiglass for protection.

Smith said his part in the process was easy and that Ives did most of the work.

“She is one of the most persistent people I’ve ever met,” Smith said of Ives.

She was responsible for funding, obtaining permission and getting different entities on campus to reach agreement, he said.

Although these pieces of art are not on permanent display, Mayo hopes they will stay up as long as reasonably possible.

Mayo would also like to see that space used “to promote other programs as a way to beautify the campus and create a greater awareness of the diversity of programs on campus,” he said.

Ives began the project at the beginning of the fall 2005 semester.

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