Blank walls in the Richardson Hall knuckle inspired the first College of Forestry art contest in 2017. Temporary walls replaced the connection point to old Peavy Hall, as construction began on the new Oregon Forest Science Complex.
The college’s faculty and staff found themselves scattered throughout other campus buildings including Richardson, Snell and Strand Hall and needed a reason to come together.
The first art contest and show with the theme, ‘The Other Side,’ was held February 17, 2017, and diversity was key to organizers and participants.
All faculty, staff and students were invited to participate, and art mediums chosen were as diverse as the people creating them. The contest saw paintings, sculptures, wood working, photography and more. The pieces were judged by representatives throughout the college and campus.
With the College of Forestry’s commitment to equity, inclusivity and diversity, 2017 also saw the formation of the college’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. The college and committee are devoted to addressing DEI issues in the realm of forestry and natural resource management – through education, research and public engagement. The committee will draw fully and inclusively on the power and force of human imagination, experience and creativity to meet the needs of today’s world.
With this in mind, the art show continued in 2018 with the theme of ‘Innovation.’
Assistant Professor Seri Robinson requires students in the art and design option within the renewable materials program to participate in the art show each year.
“It gives the students a chance at expression using media they are familiar with,” Robinson says. “Because they all have a deep science background in wood and forests, they can apply deeper meaning to art created with the art show’s theme in mind.”
Robinson thinks the art shows have been a great success. “We’ve had some really great work submitted,” Robinson says. “And it’s been a great opportunity for students to talk about their feelings about the college climate, especially in terms of diversity, in a more public forum.”