BY RHAYNA KRAMAR
“Denison is a place where differences and individuality are celebrated as we strive to be a residential liberal arts college in a contemporary world. Our art program emphasizes art-making as a means to think about not only oneself, but one’s relationship to the world of ideas from multiple perspectives.”
This statement reads as the mission of Denison’s Studio Art department, as their goal is encourage independent and creative thought. With a new grant to the department, that mission will continue to grow.
On July 25th, the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) awarded Denison University’s Studio Art Department $3,069. This grant was intended to support a new residency project, along with a collaborative installation over an eight-week period. The grant will also support workshops, school and community group visits with artists, and an opening celebration. Overall, there will be an increase in public engagement with this sector of the university.
With this money, the studio art department plans to bring Anne and Christian Manss to campus to create a piece for the Denison Art Space in Newark. These artists will work alongside Denison students and community members in Newark.
Their residency is also supported by a Mellon Arts Across the Curriculum grant, which is a grant supporting a seven week residency at Denison Arts Space in Newark to create a large scale installation and exhibition incorporating collaboration into projects through dialogue and a series of artist workshops.
“For us in Studio Art Program, receiving this grant allows us to host the creation of this dynamic residency project in our space in Newark,” said Chair of Studio Art, Professor Ron Abram. “Art and non-art majors in our program will be able to meet with Anne and Christian over an extended period of time – seeing and learning about their creative practice first hand. Our students will be involved and learning in multiple capacities with them and working in the gallery. Symbolic of the Fine Arts Division at Denison, the project is interdisciplinary in nature merging visual and performing arts. Receiving the grant from the Ohio Arts Council also acknowledges the significance of our gallery and programming in downtown Newark as a space for the local community, and a place that bridges & creates dialogue amongst all of us.”
The OAC approved 679 grants and administered over $12 million to help artists, organizations, students, and other public arts programs achieve their respective goals. Denison University received the ArtSTART award, which accessibly helps organizations complete short-term projects. New and emerging arts organizations, first-time OAC applicants and underserved organizations usually benefit from this award, gaining access to new resources that will help them enhance their projects.
Members of the Ohio Arts Council are excited about the grants being administered, and are eager to see what productions come of them. Executive Director of the Ohio Arts Council Donna S. Collins talked about all the beneficial projects that will be set in motion given these increases in funding.
“Thanks to the Ohio governor and legislature prioritization of arts funding in the state budget, the Ohio Arts Council continues to invest in Ohio’s creative economy,” she said. “With these awards, Ohio’s arts sector will engage our citizens, undertake innovative projects, and lead our state to a bright, shared future,” Collins said.
The Ohio Arts Council, established in 1965, is a state agency that serves and endorses quality arts initiatives to strengthen, educate and preserve Ohio communities.
An institution firmly rooted in the liberal arts tradition, Denison University fosters a strong engagement with the arts and the ways in which they broaden the minds of students. At a time when other universities are cutting arts and humanities programs from their curricula, Denison has expanded its arts opportunities. It will soon welcome the new Michael Eisner Center for Performing Arts, set to open its doors in March of 2019.
Denison students studying studio art work closely with accomplished faculty members to cultivate independent and creative approaches to their artwork, and benefit from access to a vast network of visiting artists to one of Denison’s galleries. Through engagement with experienced professors, by observing and engaging with the work of successful artists from across the globe, Denison students have the ability to grow in their own unique artistic fashion.
The importance associated with the arts division are what make an education at Denison University so unique. With this additional financing, it can be assured that there is great growth to come in the near future for the already blossoming department.