A group of UT Arlington art students today recently launched uArt, an organization that aims to create a permanent fund for public art on campus.
Their mission is to enhance the campus environment by showcasing artistic ingenuity and creative enterprise, while involving the general student body in the arts both visually and intellectually.
“This is the first student art initiative of its kind and it has the potential for collaborative and innovative activity between university departments,” said Art Lecturer Matt Clark. “Students will have the opportunity to literally think outside of the box.”
Students have an awareness event called “uMessage” scheduled for April 17 in the Central Library Mall. A a collaborative effort with the Department of Architecture and other sponsors, this event will feature a large structure with balloons attached that passing students are welcomed to interact with.
UT Arlington has experienced dramatic changes over the past several years as part of its plans to elevate the university to compete with the best institutions of higher learning as well as further develop the look for its campus. There are examples of this taking place across campus, including the MAC, College Park District, Gateway Tower, The Green at College Park, and multiple Maverick statues, Clark said.
However, one thing his students believed to be missing is public art, Clark said.
The goal of uArt is to raise $5,000 dollars each year and fund a single yearlong project. Students will target university as well as public and private funding.
According to Clark, more universities nationwide are adopting such public art programs, not only for beautification but to enhance competitiveness, recruiting and development efforts. The new program is part of a broader initiative by Clark, entitled “Entrepreneurship in the Arts,” to teach art students entrepreneurial skills that they can use to navigate their art careers post graduation.