Campus Report

Plans underway for art installation at West Quad construction site

Office of Communications
September 20, 2018

Plans are underway to engage the community in creating an interactive and evolving art installation on the wall surrounding the construction site for the West Quad. The proposal, first formulated over the summer, was submitted to the Public Art Committee by Janet Marsden, vice president for communications, and Claudia Esslinger, professor of art, and approved by the Committee on Wednesday. The surface of the wall is being primed this week in preparation for the project, which will proceed in two phases beginning this fall.

Phase 1

An underlying, simple abstract painting will be created on the plywood wall that surrounds the West Quad construction site. Potential designs will be solicited from students (as formal assignments in art classes) and art faculty. Preference will be given to a design that:

• Unifies the large space but allows for changes and enrichments over time;
• Speaks to Kenyon’s values and/or aspirations in a contemporary, not overly narrative, way;
• Engages the community in installing and/or enriching the piece;
• Responds to the geometric shape of 4x8’ sheets of plywood or other physicality of the wall.

The Office of Communications will select the design in consultation with the art faculty and will coordinate the painting of the wall (possibly as a community event) under the guidance of the designer, professional painters and/or artists. This phase of the project is expected to be completed by fall break.

Phase 2

After the base painting, academic classes, registered student groups and official Kenyon programs will be invited to submit proposals to engage with a section of the wall for a period of time. Watch for details about how to participate. Proposals will be reviewed by the project’s steering committee (Marsden, Esslinger and a student to be named) to ensure that they are in keeping with the project’s overall goals—which include maximizing opportunities for creative expression and community engagement — as well as to manage the allocation of wall space and installation timelines. This phase of the project will continue over the course of the West Quad construction.

More information about the project, including instructions for submissions, will be available in the coming weeks.