Student artwork below ground

The Underground's art takes a step in the right direction

Rachael Guichon, ArtSci '14 and a BFA student, feels the AMS could have been more open about student art involvement in The Underground.
Rachael Guichon, ArtSci '14 and a BFA student, feels the AMS could have been more open about student art involvement in The Underground.
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The rebranding of Alfie’s brought more to the table than just a new name.

If you’ve paid a visit to The Underground, you may have noticed the graffiti and eclectic art splattered across the walls.

The reopening of the student-run bar introduced an edgier and grungier atmosphere, and that’s what inspired its artwork, according to The AMS Pub Services (TAPS) head manager Stephanie Johnson.

“We wanted the graffiti-style artwork and more edgy drawings to be included because it went with our theme for the re-branding,” Johnson, ArtSci ’14, said.

Three students, two of which are in the fine arts program, created the venue’s artwork in a span of two days. The students were commissioned through mutual friends of the managing team.

“We thought it was a great way to incorporate students into The Underground and to make them feel a little more connected to the bar,” Johnson said. “[We wanted to] give some students a chance to show off their work.”

Rachael Guichon, ArtSci ’14, is one of the students whose artwork was featured.

Although integrating student art in the newly renovated bar was a big step, she said it may not have been a well-publicized one.

“I don’t know if [the AMS] have communicated well enough that it was student art,” Guichon said. “I don't know if it was obvious that it was BFA students.”

She said the project was truly a form of creative and free expression.

“We just kind of went wild. We picked a spot and had our own canvases,” she said. “No one came with an idea of what we wanted to do.” Guichon said that having her and her classmates' art in The Underground was a “big step,” partially because they were paid for their time.

As another initiative to increase student art visibility on campus, Guichon said having
fourth-year work will fill up the current blank space at The Underground.

Including more students in this commissioned project will aid to cover student funds related to their degree, she said, like art materials.

After the BFA program’s admission suspension for the 2012-13 year, Guichon said she hasn’t noticed a huge difference in student artists’ exposure on campus.

However, she said last year’s prints in Common Ground Coffeehouse and this year’s work in The Underground are appropriate steps into the future of campus art exposure.

“It’s very empowering to go paint on a bar that we go to almost every Wednesday,” she said.

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