Last Thursday, I was able to go where students have rarely gone before. I bundled myself up in my scarf and hat and trekked across College Avenue to President Beck’s house. If I had been asked to go there for any other reason, I might have been nervous, but instead I was looking forward to seeing the new art exhibit displayed in her home, with works by both students and faculty. The brightly lit house, adorned with various paintings and sculptures of different shapes and colors, offered a warm alternative to the cold Wisconsin weather outside. I stepped into her home and was immediately greeted by the president herself as well as various trustees and Lawrence art professors.
They began showing me the works of art on display, and I began to feel as though I were taking a tour in an actual art museum. The art pieces, they explained, would be rotated about twice a year and would serve the purpose of demonstrating to trustees and other visitors the incredible capabilities that Lawrence students have.
“This artwork captures the essence of what it means to excel at a liberal arts university,” art professor Joe D’Uva explained to me excitedly.
Professor Rob Nielson made one of the most impressive works on display, entitled “Self-Portrait as a Cartoon Prop.” It is a sculpture in the shape of a bomb with his face imprinted into the front, and a rope attached to it with a wood base. Neilson admitted that he loves making images of himself incorporated into inanimate objects, and was inspired to create this piece by the popular cartoon image of a “bad guy with a bomb.”
Another interesting piece was created in 2000 by Melissa Kozlik, a student double majoring in art and biology. She called it “Desire,” and it features five black-and-white prints of various leaves and paper taken with an electron microscope. “The black-and-white print really brings the texture out and demonstrates a person’s ability to combine different disciplines creatively,” said D’Uva.
Creativity, I learned that evening, is the key to becoming a successful artist, regardless of what form it takes. Even if you know nothing about art (like this reporter), it still serves the purpose of inspiring one’s inner passions and creativity.