Thursday, 30 of October of 2014

Learning Commons implements new Loaner Art Program

by Katherine Cooper

The Katherine J. Gribbin Learning Commons will be instituting a new Loaner Art Program to provide students with an opportunity to showcase their artwork.

Learning Commons Director Tim Williams made the announcement about the new program during a staff meeting of the Learning Commons tutors.

“This program is in line with President Chenoweth’s G.R.E.A.T. initiative, where each letter represents one area he wants to see Bethel focus on,” explained Williams. “A was for aesthetics, and we thought, how can we advance the aesthetics of the Learning Commons? We also wanted to provide an opportunity for students to showcase their talent.”

The program is focused toward students who are currently enrolled at Bethel College. Students are not required to be majoring in art in order to participate in the program. Students will be paid $200 per semester for the lease of their artwork,

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and will receive a $50 framing allowance which may be used for any costs associated with the preparation of the artwork for hanging.

“We don’t want to stockpile artwork,” said Williams. “That’s why we are leasing artwork per semester rather than buying it. The idea is that we want to give the artist enough time that their artwork is seen, but we also want to make the opportunity available to other artists.”

Students who participate in the program will be responsible for a certain square footage of wall hanging space; however, they will be permitted to rotate pieces of artwork.

“The artist’s name and contact information will be displayed along with their artwork,” said Williams. “It’s a great opportunity for student artists to showcase their work and gain exposure. The agreement will be that, if they end up selling the work that is displayed, that is fine, but they will be responsible for replacing it with another piece of artwork.”

The program will be implemented beginning March 10; however, students are invited to submit photos now of the types of artwork they would like to display in the Learning Commons. Various types of wall art, such as paintings and photographs, will be accepted.

“As we look at improving our aesthetics, we want our aesthetics to be consistent with the purpose of the facility,” said Williams. “Although alumni are welcome to visit, since the Learning Commons is primarily open to students, we are primarily looking for student art at this point. That is not to say that it will always be that way, but we want to try this and see how successful the program is. Then we can make any necessary adjustments based on the program’s success.”

Lease agreements will be valid per semester, and the summer months also count as a semester, according to Williams.

“The Learning Commons is open throughout the semester, so Summer 1 and 2 will be treated as a semester,” said Williams. “About every four months there will be a new lease agreement.”

Students may submit inquiries and artwork samples to Tim Williams via e-mail at tim.williams@bethelcollege.edu.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the submissions,” said Williams. “It will be exciting to see what pieces of art we come up with to increase the aesthetics of the Learning Commons.”