Peer mentors reveal the finished project.
Photographer: Alyse Lorber
The Learning Community celebrated their collaboration.
Photographer: Alyse Lorber
Nov 17, 2011
Energy and excitement filled the room as students in the College of Fine Arts Residential Learning Community assembled in the Lincoln Hall lobby Tuesday, Nov. 15, to uncover a collaborative art project – a reflection of their "Experience the Arts" class this past quarter.
The final work titled "Earth, Water, Air, Fire,” comprised two large, round collages that portrayed the diverse interpretations of every student from each of the four Fine Arts Learning Community classes.
Project designer David LaPalombara, director of the School of Art, inspired the idea through his interest in the biosphere and the arts.
"The idea: earth, wind, air and fire – all of the elements that surround us in our biosphere – is a representation of class participation and visually of the broader idea of sustainability," LaPalombara said.
Each contributor to the project – including Residential Learning Community faculty, four peer mentors and other invited guests – received a section of a photograph that was divided into 88 pieces. The cut-up pieces, which included squares, trapezoids and triangles, were personalized using oil pastel and other creative techniques before being reassembled into a unified whole.
"I know you guys haven’t seen any of it yet, and you’re all probably wondering how it all fit together," LaPalombara said as the crowded room anxiously awaited the final unveiling.
As peer mentors Laney Moreman, Gayle Irwin and Alex Damico began to tear off the cover that masked the final project, silence filled the air. Once the work was visible, an overwhelming sound of applause radiated throughout the lobby.
Morgan Schott, first-year music therapy major, said she took old sheet music and used it to incorporate her passion for music into her portion of the project.
"My favorite part of the project was that we were able to tie bits of ourselves into the piece," she said. "There’s a personal piece of me that’s in this project now."
Zach Poller, first-year music major, said that the project gave him the chance to discover another talent and experience something new.
Norma Humphreys, assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts, shared her gratitude for the contributions of each participant and introduced other guests that included Charles McWeeny, dean of the College of Fine Arts, and Joseph Lamb, the college's associate dean.
"I had a great time working with this group,” said Humphreys. “And I want to give a special thanks to the peer mentors, who went above and beyond the call of duty this quarter. They’ve all done a great job."