All the schools are part of the same univeristy, so why does it seem like they can’t get along?
The small percentage of students who take advantage of the Tyler School of Art’s presence on Main Campus surprises me.
Since Tyler officially moved to Main Campus from Elkins Park last year, more fine arts classes have been created for non-majors and a beautiful new building was built for students to wander through.
Through March 1, Tyler will host its annual Tyler Student Exhibition. The exhibition showcases the artwork of undergraduate and graduate students from the various departments of Tyler.
Though my column usually focuses on events and issues relating to the larger scope of the Philadelphia community, I found particular significance in bringing up this aspect of life at Temple. It’s important for Temple students to appreciate and support their university’s art school and fellow art students.
Some of my friends on campus have never stepped foot in Tyler because they are afraid they have to be an art student to take advantage of its classes and student facilities. Other students have some strange misconceptions about the stereotypical art student and feel they would be intrusive to take advantage of Tyler.
What is it about art students that create this hesitation among the non-art majors to enjoy the opportunities offered from the new building and programs?
Art can certainly be a strange, almost taboo subject, when not everyone connects to it. I’m sure some students either aren’t interested in fine arts, or don’t understand its emotional and craft-oriented path. I ask those disinterested to keep an open mind and remember that whether someone chooses to study art or biology – we all chose to study at Temple.
The other side of this complex coin screams the question: Why are art students afraid to integrate with their university at large? I’ve seen a separation even between the Boyer School of Music students from the Tyler students in the Artist’s Palette Café, formerly the Starving Artist.
There are a large number of art majors who would rather be back in Elkins Park, disassociated from Temple as a whole and not deal with the combined student experience. This is not the case for everyone, though. As artists, we may use art to express who we are individually, but it takes the general viewer to make art the magical experience it can be. The influence of other majors in the collegiate atmosphere can be a fruitful experience and allow the creative juices to flow more fluidly within artwork.
So how did this strange, almost rival atmosphere come into place? At one point, it might have been caused by one student not appreciating another’s creativeness or diversity in study. This hostile environment is an observation I’ve made during the past year, and I think this upcoming art show can be the beginning to discovering a solution from these estranged attitudes.
I’m sure I can’t speak for the entire population of Tyler students, but I want to encourage students of every school to visit the gallery. The purpose of this art exhibition is to showcase the hard work these artists have done during the past few semesters and for other student artists, professors and the general public to enjoy it.
I encourage artists to support Temple activities unrelated to art. This appreciation and support is very important within the collegiate atmosphere.
Congratulations to everyone showcased in the exhibition this year; it is an achievement Temple students should be proud of.
The Tyler Student Exhibition runs through March 1. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nicole Welk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.