Mixed media class to install public art
Public art, as Nishiki Sugawara-Beda described, is art for a larger audience.
It isn’t just art for adults or kids, but art for an entire generation. She said public art should raise questions, celebrate a particular community or document a community.
“Art is a visual form of communication,” Sugawara-Beda said. “You don’t have to be of an age that needs to read, you can just look at it and understand.”
Sugawara-Beda is a professor at the University of Idaho and teaches ART 390, mixed media. Sugawara-Beda and her students are in the production stage of a public art installation for the Moscow community.
The piece is an aerial view of the Palouse region separated into different segments. Each different segment is a different genre, Sugawara-Beda said. There are a total of 17 genres represented in the piece. The installation will be placed in the Moscow public library above the DVD section.
“The library is a good melting pot,” Sugawara-Beda said. “It’s the head for all Latah County libraries, so it makes a good central place.”
Dallan Pickard, a student in the class, is working on the sci-fi section. Pickard, a virtual technology design student, said he created a 3D image of a spaceship and added a space background before printing it off and pasting it on his section.
“It’s fun,” Pickard said. “I enjoy making something the public gets to see. And it’s important because Moscow is an art-focused community.”
Sugawara-Beda said she hopes the community will look at art students and art in a different way after seeing the piece.
“I want them to realize what an art student can do,” she said. “It’s not just pretty, but it raises questions.”
The process for creating the public art piece started at the beginning of the semester. In the third week, students were asked to prepare a concept rough draft and then refine it, Sugawara-Beda said.
They submitted the drafts to the library board, which voted on their favorite design. The student who designed the winning piece dropped the class right before, Sugawara-Beda said. Pickard said the class altered the design and made it from the whole class to the library.
The installation will be in the Moscow public library and will open to viewers no later than April 29.
“I enjoy making something the public gets to see,” Pickard said. “Art is fun. I want to come back in 10 years and see it incorporated more within the community. If I can make an impact, that’s pretty cool.”
Claire Whitley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Cewhitley24