Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.
In the Lory Student Center, there’s a sharp contrast between two sides of a small hallway. Just inside the south entrance, there’s the often-crowded Intermissions Cafe with a line that stretches down the hall. On the opposite side, there’s the Curfman Gallery, which holds Colorado State University students’ artwork and is usually devoid of people.
This indistinct hallway shows a prevalent issue among the CSU community: No one seems to care about our on-campus art.
One of the biggest reasons behind the apparent lack of care for CSU’s art may very well be how accessible art has become. Through the internet, social media and new digital mediums, art has become easier to access and create. No longer do artists have to physically put their art into a gallery to be viewed — they can simply share it with thousands of eyes at the tap of a button.
Even though going and viewing the art is only a small action, having people in the galleries is one of the most important and visible ways to support artists, whether at CSU or not.”
The digitization of art has also taken away some portion of art’s inherent emotional meaning. Whether you’re creating art or enjoying it, you’re indulging in one of the most essential human traditions we have: the process of exploring your emotions through the medium of art.
Art is often inspired by and created with intangible emotions — there’s an element of art that you have to be present for to understand. Seeing an image of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” for example, pales in comparison to seeing the painting in person.
That necessary physical element of engaging with art is part of why CSU puts in so much effort in the arts on campus. As a result, the LSC Arts Program has the express goal of “seeking to bring the visual arts to all students at CSU.”
Going and seeing the art on campus for any reason is a worthwhile endeavor because it allows you to open yourself up.”
To the University’s credit, it has done a great job accomplishing its goal of making art accessible and present on campus. Colorado State’s department of art and art history curates several galleries across campus. Whether you’re visiting the full-scale Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, the pieces scattered around Morgan Library or the Curfman Gallery, the University and its departments and programs have fostered an incredibly art-friendly environment.
Regardless of how accessible the galleries themselves are, the truth behind almost any art remains: It’s meant to be emotional.
When you go to an art gallery, the art you’re seeing is meant to convey emotion and meaning. It’s meant to be personal. Going and seeing the art on campus for any reason is a worthwhile endeavor because it allows you to open yourself up.
The Curfman Gallery’s current exhibition in particular showcases art exploring concepts like mental health, race and love. The art in the gallery made me consider my deeper emotions, thoughts and experiences with each of those subjects, and it was an experience that was definitely worth having. The art across campus could give you a similar experience.
Outside of abstract emotional experiences and concepts, it’s worth going to any of the number of galleries across campus solely to support the broader CSU environment. One of the mantras that permeates the entire CSU community is “Rams take care of Rams,” and one of the best ways for us to take care of our art-inclined Rams is to support their art when it’s on display.
Even though going and viewing the art is only a small action, having people in the galleries is one of the most important and visible ways to support artists, whether at CSU or not.
CSU’s on-campus galleries have been mostly empty for the last year or so due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and only recently did they reopen their doors to students with new displays of art to enjoy, yet they still remain mostly empty. I’ll be in those galleries as often as I can for the rest of this semester. Will you?
Dylan Tusinski can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @unwashedtiedye.