By Stephanie Gogul
A dash of creativity and a bit of individuality have transformed the Lincoln Hall lobby into a showcase of diversity.
Lincoln Hall residents and members of the College of Fine Arts Residential Learning Community teamed up to create a quilt representing the diversity of the hall. In all, more than 80 patches were collected from students, providing a colorful cross-section of student experiences at Ohio University.
"Much of the charm of the quilt arises from the extraordinary variety of its parts," said Robert Peppers, professor of painting and project coordinator. "Its essence conveys a sense of 'diversity' stitched together into 'unity,' and it serves as a paradigm for the diverse Lincoln Hall community of artists, musicians, actors, art technicians and other majors."
Over a five-day period, students were invited to the make-shift art studio in the lobby of Lincoln Hall to create their patch. Students were encouraged to make pieces that represented their major, interests, feelings or any message they would like to communicate through the quilt.
"Faculty, staff and students all worked really well together; everyone wanted to see this project be successful," said Norma Humphreys, assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts.
Senior Judy Jenkinson assembled the pieces into the 60- by 82-inch quilt, which will be displayed in the hall's lobby for the rest of the school year and throughout the summer.
"It brought a great feeling of community," said Nathan Fronczek, resident coordinator for Lincoln Hall. "Residents also enjoyed the social opportunity, the opportunity to meet others as well as the excuse to be creative. I think that students were truly interested in being a part of the project because it was an opportunity to be a permanent part of the history of Ohio University."
The large turn-out of Lincoln Hall residents pleased staff members and showcased the enthusiasm of the students.
"I was a little surprised to see so many residents take part in this project," said junior Sklyer McCully, a resident assistant in Lincoln Hall. "Although we are the fine arts residence hall, other residents that aren't fine arts majors still took part in this project, which was cool to see because everyone's [patch] was totally different."
During the quilt-making process, residents of Lincoln Hall had an opportunity to interact with other residents, faculty and staff.
Even Officer David Valentine, with the campus safety department, joined in. Valentine stumbled onto the project while making his rounds in the dormitory and eventually ended up contributing his own patch to the quilt.
"It was great to spend some time with the students and see everyone's piece for the quilt," Valentine said. "It is always wonderful to see first hand what is going on in our community."
Faculty from the College of Fine Arts and staff from the Office of Residential Housing collaborated to bring the idea of a diversity quilt to life.
According to Judy Piercy, assistant vice president and director of Residence Life, the quilt was intended to foster student interaction and encourage relationships with members of the College of Fine Arts faculty.
"One of our goals is scholarship, which encompasses efforts to support students' academic success including interacting with faculty outside of the classroom and integrating creative efforts into life outside of the classroom," she explained, adding, "This project certainly meets this goal."