Art by students, for students

The bare walls and bland corners of the Student Center will soon be filled with works of art by the student artists of Sonoma State University. A new exhibit is set to be ready for viewing next spring semester, and students are welcomed to submit any type of art from photography, paintings, drawings and sculptures.

The Sonoma State Student Center Board of Advisors is funding and organizing the exhibit, which is being led by Jessica Way, president designee. Fellow board member Laura Mitchel, future officer’s program coordinator, is also assisting, along with student council members Mary LoFranco, Hilary Stewart and Olivia Smith.

Smith expressed to the STAR how important the project is to her.

“I’m all about promoting diversity and showing that we’re proud of our students at Sonoma State,” said Smith. “I felt that the Student Center was empty and needed to be personalized to students and given a homey feel.”

The department expects that they will receive many submissions for this exhibit and plans to spread the works of art throughout the student center. Smith recognizes that there are many skilled artists on campus, and aims to showcase the potential of student artists.

“We really want to get a bunch of diverse art out there, and not only can art students submit, it can be any student artist at Sonoma State,” she said.

The exhibit is a new idea being launched by the Arts and Humanities Department and it is scheduled to run for the duration of the spring 2016 semester.  

“We want this to be an ongoing project,” Smith said. “In the future we’re planning on the exhibit being up for an entire year with submissions being accepted in the fall.”

The only potential obstacles that stand in the way of launching this exhibit are getting enough submissions to fill the allotted space within the Student Center.

“We have a really good art program here and it represents a big chunk of Sonoma State,” Smith said. “We can show a positive image (of this campus) through art.”

Sophomore business major Rheannon Eisworth shares these values.

“I’ve been drawing for my entire life, and I think this exhibit would be an incredible addition to the student center,” said Eisworth. “Art inspires people to be creative and think outside the box. Since SSU is a liberal arts school, art should be important to all in our community, if not a priority.”

Smith and her team behind this project will be placing promotional posters throughout campus, as well as going to classrooms to get the word out about this event.

“We just need submissions to come in as quickly as possible so we can get this out by spring semester,” Smith said.

 A unique aspect of participating in this exhibit is that the student artists that have their work on display also have the option of selling their art.  Students set the prices for their art, and any potential buyer that would like to purchase the art can do so. This can be a way to not only gain exposure, but to make some cash on the side as well.

There is no limit on the number of pieces of art they are considering to place in the exhibit, but all submissions must be received by Dec. 4. The application can be found on the art department’s web page under the student opportunities link at sonoma.edu/art.