Art project encourages campus social interactions

[ Austin Romito | Banner ]

Art can be defined in many ways, and some students are taking a more interactive approach to their work.

People walking past Wallace Lawn March 1 were presented with a dog showstyle obstacle course set up on the grass, featuring all the typical parts of a dog show from colorful tunnels to hula hoop jumps.

Contrary to the ordinary course, this one was not set up for dogs but for people to have an interactive artistic experience.

Lauren Sankey, senior visual arts major, set up the course for her interactive arts project for “Contemporary Art Issues,” a new class at California Baptist University.

The project was designed to get people out of the classroom mindset and socially engaged in art.

“The people make it our art project,” Sankey said. “We always think, ‘What is art?’ Art is what you make it, art is what the experience is and it’s all what you get out of it.”

Kristi Lippire, assistant visual arts professor and instructor of the contemporary art class, described the basis of socially engaged art and the focus for these interactive projects.

“It requires visual art students to create an artwork that really considers the audience first and get artwork out of the classroom and into everyday life. It forces students to engage and encourage the public in ways they never have with their work and ideas,” Lippire said.

Sankey had participants strap a GoPro camera to their heads while they ran through the obstacle course on their hands and knees.

After a couple hours, the course was taken apart and the GoPro recordings of the dog show experience are what will be turned in for Sankey’s art project.

Hannah Yokoo, junior visual arts major, participated as referee and “dog” and pointed out the artistic significance of the experience.

“This experience is comparable to contemporary art in the way it’s pushing the boundaries of what can be called traditional art,” Yokoo said. “Just like how society changes with time, so does art and how it is represented.”

Not only did the obstacle course provide a fun experience for students heading to to class, but gave students the opportunity to enter a new perspective and re-evaluate what they classify as art.

Becka Leininger, junior visual arts major, is also a student in the art class and said she enjoyed Sankey’s depiction of the interactive art project.

“I loved (Sankey’s) project,” Leininger said. “It made people get out of their comfort zone, but in a safe and fun environment.”

Upon inspiration for her work, Sankey said she looked toward finding something people have never seen before.

“I wanted something that people can interact with that will be fun and to take a break from classes,” Sankey said. This was only two out of the 10 socially engaging art experiences on campus. Sankey’s socially interactive art piece is not the only one being featured.

“Street Racing,” by Yokoo, “Having a Bad Day,” by Leininger, and “Life Size Candy Land,” by Marlisa Morales, junior visual arts major, were featured during the weeks of March 1 and March 8.

The last socially interactive art piece is created and designed by Scott Love, visual arts major, and will be displayed on campus March 13.

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