The new Student Union stands out among the other buildings around campus, not just because it’s still a little shiny, but because on just about every wall hangs a piece of original VSU student artwork.
“Finally Valdosta State University is supporting Valdosta art, and that’s one thing I think is a huge milestone … in buying student art because that’s a huge deal,” Alex Zimmerman, VSU alum, said.
“Our community at VSU hasn’t been very supportive of the arts, and I think that’s a small step of supporting the visual arts.”
Zimmerman had a painting purchased during the Senior Art Exhibit last spring and put on display in the new Student Union.
“I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until this semester; I live in Seattle now, and I kept getting pictures from friends showing that [my] painting’s on the wall in the new Student Union, and I thought it was really interesting and exciting,” Zimmerman said.
The artwork in the union was purchased from the Senior Art Exhibit Spring ‘09 and the student art exhibit, which ended March 5. About 30 pieces in total have been bought for the Student Union, ranging from paintings to sculptures. The money used to purchase the pieces was taken from the Union improvement fund that was allocated to the construction of the Student Union, according to Robin Vickery, the director of Student Life.
“We just felt like it was really important that because it’s a student building; it should reflect student art,” Vickery said.
Brandon McMillian, VSU alum, also had two paintings purchased to be put on display at the Student Union and said that he was proud of the school for putting together a permanent collection of VSU student artwork and to have it on display in the Student Union. He felt that it really helped to show all the hard work the art department put into helping its students.
Vickery said that the last student art exhibit will probably be the last time the Student Life office will purchase a large amount of paintings, because the office is running out of funds and they are physically running out of wall space.