Ann Tarantino, assistant professor of art, director of the Woskob Family Gallery and curator of the Borland Project Space, and Lindsey Landfried, curator and senior gallery manager of the HUB-Robeson Center, have received a Strategic Planning Seed Grant of almost $200,000 to fund the Campus Arts Initiative, a pilot project whose goal is to commission new artwork for places that the Penn State community is in every day.Since fall 2017, the University has been awarding seed grants to select projects that align with Penn State’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan. Tarantino and Landfried’s project was chosen following a University-wide call for proposals.
Grant monies will be used to commission and project-manage public art interventions at eight different sites across Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the project from across the University system,” said Tarantino, noting three projects will be commissioned this academic year, and five the following year. “We will offer a public art training session, likely in collaboration with the local government, as part of the program, to introduce host sites to the process of working with artists. We will also do a national call for artists as a way to create a pool for each entity to select from. Both artists and partners will be asked to enter into the process without a preconceived notion of what the project might be, and instead to think expansively about what questions they might wish to address with a work of public art on their campus.”
Tarantino and Landfried are in the process of hiring a Campus Arts Initiative Fellow to handle project management and administration. They also plan to build a website. Applications from potential partners were due on September 21.
According to Landfried, the goal is to collaborate with campuses to create works of art that will be enjoyed daily. “We’re interested in specifically working with host locations in order to collaboratively partner artists and hosts to make temporary and meaningful works of art that will be viewed by our students, faculty and staff during their daily experiences.”
Landfried said the art displayed in each building will be made in response to the respective setting. Project coordinators will work with the faculty, staff and students to ensure they have input from those in the building and that they have the proper tools to create a landmark message with the art shown.
Look for updates on the Campus Arts Initiative in future issues of Artsword and on School of Visual Arts social media!
Image: Keith Lemley, "A Theory of Everything," 2017. Neon and maple, 233 x 114 x 12 in. Commissioned by the Woskob Family Gallery, Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 S. Allen St. State College, PA