New artwork splashes Wabash
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 18:10
Last week, the Wabash Building was adorned with 13 pieces of new artwork, in various high traffic areas.
Alumnus Robert Gallagher donated the artwork he created to Roosevelt. Gallagher received his bachelor’s degree from the university in 1989.
“The artwork that was hung was designed specifically for this space, but it didn’t get hung early enough, until now,” Vice Provost for Planning and Budget Michael Ford said.
Ford was in charge of positioning the art.
“Around the university, a lot of our walls don’t have anything on them, so my objective was to get this art out as quickly as possible,” he said. “After meeting with students informally regarding a lack of student space, we’re looking for ways to improve and enhance the building. One of the things they talked about was how there’s nothing on the walls.”
Leah Pickrum, a human resource management major, said she appreciates the artwork.
“I like it,” she said. “I just started noticing it. I didn’t think the walls were missing anything, but once I saw the artwork was up, I thought it looked nice. It spices it up a bit. It represents the walls of the building; I do see that now, the sharp lines, no curves. It’s very colorful, which I like.”
Gallagher worked with the university prior to the Wabash Building’s construction in order to design the artwork to reflect the building’s shape and color scheme.
“It’s very abstract and very colorful,” Ford said. “He was trying to mirror what he thought the building was going to look like. The artwork is towered up like windows and skyscrapers and very linear in scope and design. Also, the very vibrant colors somewhat replicate what we’ve done in terms of a green level, red level, orange and yellow.”
Christopher Suggs, a first year MBA student, said the colors are pleasant to look at.
“I think it’s perfect,” he said. “Often times people have busy days, and it’s nice to see great artwork and come into a pleasant environment. You have a beautiful view along with the artwork, along with beautiful colors. It makes a pleasant studying environment.”
The artwork is displayed in the cafeteria and on the sixth and 10th floors. Certain pieces are in memory of Steve Cleary, Ted Kennedy, Vic Porth, Mary Gallagher, Gladys Presley and Rolf Anderson. One piece is titled “Rainbow,” and the rest of the pieces are untitled.
“Why he chose to dedicate certain pieces to who he dedicated them to, I’m not sure,” Ford said. “It’s not specific.”
Ford and the Center for Student Involvement are in the preliminary stages of organizing an opportunity for students to contribute artwork to the university’s walls.
“It’s an idea on the table, right now,” he said. “It would brighten up the campus. We have several floors with nothing on the walls whatsoever.”
Ford said the art initiative would be kept to the Wabash Building and would not expand to the Gage or Auditorium buildings.
Cynthia Bryant, a psychology major, said she doesn’t pay attention to the walls much.
“I didn’t notice [the artwork] until it was pointed out,” she said. “It’s nice. It’s colorful.”
If students have ideas for artwork they’d like to contribute in the future, they should contact CSI.
“This artwork has something timeless to it,” Ford said. “It’s bright to fit with this high-rise, vertical campus.”
Ready to paint more of the campus with cool artwork? Tweet your ideas to @RUTORCH