Abigail Meredith, Assistant Arts Editor
The past meets the present during Arts on the Hill. Alumni artists are coming back to OBU to showcase their works for the present generation.
The event will be happening in the Art Building Saturday, November 12 as part of the Homecoming week festivities. Centered on the art show, the evening will also include refreshments and live music.
Corey Fuller, associate professor of graphic design and interim chair of art & design, discussed what made the event unique.
“Many people, I find, have never been to an art show—perhaps an art museum or arts and crafts festival, but not an art show opening,” Fuller said. “Even though the paintings don’t sing and dance, it is a ‘live’ event. You can meet the artist, talk about how the art affects you, how it affects the other people in the room. It’s a powerful experience.”
He went on to discuss the history of Arts on the Hill.
“Last year was the first installment of the event,” he said. “It was a little different format.”
Julie Blackstone, assistant professor of art, also added her perspective to the history.
“We’ve only had the one [event]. Of course the visual art was the feature, but last year there were two wonderful combos, plus Dr. Newsom read poetry. The ever popular “Cuppies and Joe” provided some of the refreshments, and that was certainly a hit.”
This year, however, is much more focused on the art. Fuller had information on the entertainment of this year and how it affected the show.
“This year it will just be one band—part of the Bison Jazz Orchestra. So, it will be more of a time to look at the art, listen to tunes, and socialize. It won’t be as much of a “captive audience” or program-oriented event as it was last year,” he said.
Blackstone explained why music was included in the Art on the Hill event.
“I believe we wanted to add some variety, with the idea that there are many art forms that appeal to people.”
Blackstone talked about her involvement as well as what went into preparing the show.
“I’ve contacted some of the alums, and I’ll be hanging the show with Mr. Fuller,” Blackston said. “When we hang a show, we always look at the body of work. We look for themes, color schemes, size/scale considerations, and then work to hang a pleasing, cohesive show that will engage the viewer. The items turned in thus far show an impressive range of talent and style.”
Fuller also brought up concerns he and Blackstone experienced during preparation.
“There’s always a worry that you’ll put out a call for entries and not get any work, or any work of quality,” Fuller said. However, I shouldn’t have worried. Our alumni really came through for us, yet again.”
Blackstone shared what, for her, made the whole event worth the work.
“Seeing former students is the biggest bonus of putting on an event such as this,” she said.
Fuller then mentioned a few of the alumni he knew.
“Molly Hennesy (Designer at Legacy Bank), Rebekah Alexander (Designer at VI Marketing and Branding), and Aaron Morvan (Designer at OETA) were all three graphic design majors here at OBU. They’ve all stayed in touch well with their alma mater. Each of them have come back to speak to a class a time or two,” he said.
Blackstone said Arts on the Hill is unique compared to other shows on campus, commented on who exactly was involved.
“Most other events feature current students and faculty,” she said. “This is singular in that it showcases our alums.”
Fuller pointed out what made it different than other homecoming events.
“An art exhibit is just an entirely different vibe. At a concert or play, one is silent, but at an art show, we want people to dialogue, inquire, and maybe even argue a bit (within reason),” he said.
He also mentioned why it was important to have this event.
“It’s a different sort of event for the university,” he said. “We had many former students and members of the community come to Arts on the Hill that didn’t necessarily engage with other aspects of homecoming. It makes homecoming more diverse.”