Ideas of festivals, studios, glass buildings, and murals flew during the first meeting of the Visual Arts Initiative on Wednesday.
The initiative aims to engage all campuses, students, staff, and artists. “We have to see our self as a family”, said Deputy President Daire Keogh.
This is all part of the 2022 Strategic Plan for One DCU. “It’ll be ubiquitous,” said Keogh.
One popular idea that arose during the meeting was that of a destination sculpture that could also function as a learning space.
Primary Teaching student, Jack Byrne, spoke passionately about wanting to feel a sense of belonging to his campus. “I feel as a student I don’t have any impact on my campus,” said Byrne. “[I want] For me to be able to say ‘I did that, I was a part of this’”.
Byrne proposed the idea of using the grey walls across the St Pats campus as mural space that anyone can add to.
In reference to the benefits of engaging art with the campuses, Patricia Hunch, a contributor to the initiative, said that it will impact students of every area of study. Involving artists in an engineering field for example, would bring a “much more creative process to research,” said Hunch.
The meeting wasn’t all blue sky ideas, however. Studio space will be one the biggest issues.
Mary Shine Thompson, a member of the Council of Trustees of the DCU Education Trust, defended this, saying that artists aren’t looking for huge, state of the art studios. “If there’s a tap in the corner and the roof doesn’t leak, and there’s a bit of light – that’s what they’re looking for,” she said.
Currently they are in the stages of gathering idea from students, staff, and artists, across the campuses. Once a clear sense of what the Visual Arts Initiative is all about is formed, a position paper will be put forwards.
“In it’s infancy, anything is possible”, said Dr Máire Ní Bhroin, the subject leader of the visual arts unit.
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