North Texas Daily

Art across UNT campus determined by 16-member committee

Art across UNT campus determined by 16-member committee

April 08
10:03 2014

Olivia Sylvain // Staff Writer

UNT students may notice various artwork on display across the campus on a typical day. These paintings, sculptures and multimedia art pieces are brought to the university through the Art in Public Places program.

The program functions as a way of soliciting art from different artists in order to enrich and beautify the campus. The College of Visual Arts and Design and the Office of the President founded Art in Public Places in 2009.  A 16-member committee, with representatives from major departments on campus, decides what artwork to bring to campus, where to put it and when and how to maintain it.

The committee developed the Percent for Art Program, which requires one percent of construction budgets that were more than $5,000 to go toward acquiring art for the campus.

Tracee Robertson, APP co-chair and UNT art galleries director, said a lot of the art on campus was funded by construction and renovations at buildings such as Willis Library and Sage Hall.

“Sometimes we can purchase existing artwork with that money, especially if the budget is smaller,” Robertson said. “Sometimes we can commission artwork from an artist, meaning that we hire an artist to make a new artwork specific to where we want to put it on campus.”

The APP is currently commissioning new art for the Union with their funds after creating an advisory committee consisting of Union staff, students and contractors to oversee the acquisition of art for the new building. The advisory committee has the final ruling on the art that goes in the Union based on what they feel will best fit the building and represent the university.

“A call for proposals goes out to artists nationwide, and then we hire three art professionals from outside of UNT who have expertise in contemporary art,” Robertson said. “They come in and narrow that big pool of artists down to a smaller group.”

California artist and art teacher Amy Bouse submitted her work to be reviewed by the advisory committee from Willis Library during renovations. Two of her paintings can be found on display in the building.

“Visual art should be a part of university education in a fundamental, meaningful way,” Bouse said. “Living with art is one of the best ways to understand it and campuses offer a wonderful opportunity to introduce visual art to their students in their living and working environments.”

The APP is developing a walking tour program with interactive signs on each artwork. The committee hopes to increase student appreciation for the art and encourage student participation in improving the campus with art.

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