Public Art for the NCAs

Rumor has it that the Art Organization of Kenyon is looking to desuburbanize the NCAs with some murals. While I appreciate the sentiment, the art history minor within my soul cringes at the possibility of hearts, stars and unicorns adorning the currently Stepford-esque North Campus housing.

Since AOK was interested in Social Justice, maybe look at the politically charged works of Diego Rivera.

"Liberation of the Peon," 1931.

“Liberation of the Peon,” 1931.

Another thought is using satirical street art, à la Banksy.

"Naked Man Hanging From Window" by Banksy, c. 2006.

“Naked Man Hanging From Window” by Banksy, c. 2006.

Maybe take some inspiration from Manav Gupta’s famous and ecologically friendly Tree of Life Mural, completed in 2010.

Gupta solicited bushstrokes from the employees of the building where he was painting this.

Gupta solicited bush strokes from the employees of the building where he was painting this to get them excited and to make them feel included.

Or the illusionary murals of John Pugh.

"Academe" at Chico State University, completed 1980.

“Academe” at Chico State University, completed 1980.

There are so many more, but the point is that there are a lot of ways to decorate a building and we can only hope that the Art Association of Kenyon will be as daring and bold as these muralists when they petition to decorate the NCAs.

Aaron Douglas, "Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction," 1934.

Aaron Douglas, “Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction,” 1934.

4 responses

  1. The NCAs need trees, shrubs, maybe some ivy and clematis on trellises — and lots more Adirondack chairs. And some picnic benches. How about a couple of brick barbecue pits in the style of Bexley? It would really soften the severity and the pristine-ness and it would help bring a feeling of human habitation to that little campus enclave, like a utopian public park. Anything to make it look less of a sterile condo subdivision.

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