Although many community members have grown increasingly frustrated with the delays and inconveniences associated with the renovations of the West Union building, some will have the chance to have their artwork displayed when the doors finally open.
Set to partially open Feb. 29, West Union promises to provide the dining hall experience West Campus has lacked for years. Additionally, the West Union will feature the "Arts of Science Project"—a temporary art exhibit that showcases research done in labs here at Duke, but with a creative twist.
“It’s three pieces of art—one is a diptych, so it’s got two pieces— but the first one is more like a frame with tiles for students to put their artwork in,” said freshman Anna-Karin Hess, a member-at-large of Duke Student Government who has been heavily involved in the curation of the work. “It’s going to be the most interactive because it’s going to let students get their art up there.”
The diptych will be comprised of a collage of photographs taken and submitted by scientists working in research laboratories at Duke alongside artistic renderings of the research created by a committee of student artists.
“You’ve probably seen flyers for it,” Hess said. “A bunch of labs have submitted their photos and we’re going to go through them and choose a bunch to collage on one side, and then we’ll have the funky artistic representations of them on the other side.”
The third will be a much more traditional drawing or painting, and although the subject of it has not been chosen, all three of the works in the exhibit will share a common theme of science.
“The idea of it is that the one that acts as a frame for students to place their work in will be there probably longer than a year, since we can change out the designs and put in new art,” Hess said. “The other two will change so that each year there’s a new theme, some big topic that we want to emphasize.”
Despite the inspired choice of theme, however, the “Art of Science” project is set to remain in West Union for only one year.
"Rotating art exhibits aren’t unheard of on this campus,” said Michael Norwalk, a junior and DSG's vice president of faciliities and environment. “They are sometimes exhibited in spaces like the Brown Gallery in the Bryan Center or in other buildings for a specific event, but to my knowledge, no project of this scale and so integrated into a building has been done in any other building on this campus.”
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