Graduate student Bryan DeProspero is inspired by poetry, street art, urban landscapes and the crumbling facades of buildings. For graduate student Sahar Tarighi, it’s the layered experiences of personal and cultural identity. Alumni Brandan Henry finds his inspiration in folklore, iconography and reclamation of the Black image.
Each of these artists take those inspirations and turn them into thought-provoking art that you can currently find on view throughout Morris Library.
A selection of artwork by Brandan Henry now on view in the Reading Room.
Their art is on display as part of the Artists at Morris program, which is designed to enhance the student experience in communal spaces in Morris Library. The program is coordinated by the Morris Library Art Task Force, which consists of Library, Museums and Press staff, faculty from the Department of Art and Design, and graduate students, including DeProspero and Tarighi.
Henry’s art is on display in the Reading Room on the first floor as part of the alumni artist exhibition “fic·tions.” He describes the poignant and powerful art on view as “drawings using the form of pose, especially gestural and iconic, that describes imaginary events and people.”
DeProspero and Tarighi’s art is part of the student art installation on the second floor, which also includes paintings, ceramics and mixed media from other undergraduate and graduate students across campus.
These displays put student inspiration at the forefront of the conversation and open the door for others to be moved to pursue an idea, a conversation or a project of their own.
“I create art for myself … and it brings my inner world to the outer, tangible world, but art is a two-way connection,” explained Tarighi. “After the creation of art, the work belongs to the audience, and with the audience’s perception and understanding of the work, another world is formed.”
Henry shared a similar sentiment. “The work literally comes alive every time a fresh set of eyes engages with it,” he said. “It’s an excellent opportunity for new interpretations to unfold. College campuses are interesting considering student bodies are in constant flux. You never know who will be confronted by the work.”
Student artwork now on display on the second floor of Morris Library.
In Morris Library, people browse nearly endless shelves of books, explore thought-provoking exhibitions of historical materials, and experiment with our multimedia studios to discover their next great idea. Now, they can also look to the art on the walls.
“The more we look at art, the more we can appreciate it,” DeProspero said. “That’s what it’s meant to do. It’s meant to be seen and acknowledged, not just for the artist’s sake, but because if I can make something that then inspires another person, it becomes this perpetual sort of thing. So to have it [in Morris Library], where people are researching and being introspective, is a perfect opportunity to set the mood for everybody.”
Creating more engaging, dynamic and inviting spaces for the community is at the heart of the Artists at Morris program.
“Artists at Morris is the result of going beyond the academic, research and social environment that thrives in Morris Library,” said Shelly McCoy, a member of the Morris Library Art Task Force and associate university librarian for public services and space planning. “Student art celebrates what makes our environment a community. It creates a deeper, more enriching community through colors, mediums and thought-provoking connections.”
Stop inside Morris Library and see where inspiration will strike for you.
A new alumni artist exhibition will be installed for the 2023 fall semester. The next call for student art submissions will also be made at the beginning of the 2023 fall semester.