University of Oregon: “Task Force Asks for Students’ Creative Responses to Library Murals”
From the University of Oregon:
As certain historic murals on display in the library continue to inspire a spirited and at times contentious campus discussion, the Knight Library Public Art Task Force has announced an open call for student work to be included in a juried exhibition of art that will better express the values of the campus today.
“We are moving forward with plans to mount a display of contemporary creative works responding to the content of the controversial panels,” said Adriene Lim, dean of libraries and Philip H. Knight Chair. “Our aim is to showcase creative expressions promoting the culture that students of today aspire to have.”
The theme of the exhibition will be “Show Up, Stand Out, Empower!” The art will be displayed in a variety of Knight Library spaces from Oct. 15 to March 15. The deadline to submit work for consideration is Aug. 10.
“The process we’ve designed in the libraries is about contextualizing the art, not removing it,” Lim said, while acknowledging that the issues involved were highly complex. “As a woman of color and former activist myself, I fully understand why the work is offensive for many members of our community. But I also believe that this art can be useful for us in terms of motivating us to engage in much needed dialogue about intellectual freedom, cultural memory, historic preservation and social justice.”
Lim explained that when she arrived at the UO a few years ago, the murals were already a point of discussion at the Knight Library and the subject of a small number of community member complaints. In January 2017, she assembled the Knight Library Public Art Task Force to provide better documentation about the historic building and to identify opportunities to respond to the art while upholding the university’s values of intellectual freedom and artistic expression.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.