Art students make their mark on new OSU art gallery

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By Aubrey Raupe   

Construction work to renovate the Stillwater Postal Plaza started this month, but not before OSU art students had a chance to produce some large-scale art on the building’s walls. The art on display at the Postal Plaza on Oct. 19 was part of a collaborative effort by art professors Liz Roth and Angela Piehl and their students.

According to Piehl, each Drawing II student had to first choose an animal from the zoology department to draw live or from a picture as part of the “Genius Genus” project. After this initial drawing was complete, students started work at the Postal Plaza, transferring their artwork from paper to the walls.

The students expressed excitement that the Postal Plaza project offered new creative opportunities and challenged their creativity in a new way.
“You don’t get these opportunities very often, especially to go into a building and draw on the walls,” said Paige Kerley, a child and family services major with a minor in studio art. “I think that was my favorite part, incorporating my piece into a building that is so well known in Stillwater.”

Angela Piehl, assistant professor of painting, drawing and digital art, encouraged her advanced art students to find work that inspired them, and from this work, their larger pieces at the Postal Plaza were created.  The work that inspired the students’ art was hung next to their piece on each wall to show the inspiration they took from the smaller version.

“I’m happy that my students got to experience something less formal and more free flowing and fun,” said Piehl. “They got to spread their wings a little bit, sprawl out across the wall at the Postal Plaza and try things they may not have necessarily tried before.”

OSU purchased the Postal Plaza in 2010. It will become an art gallery, designed to house and showcase the university’s art collection.  OSU Long Range Facilities Planning and the College of Arts and Sciences are overseeing the $6 million renovation project.