Artists deserve apology

By Andrew Houlne

On Wednesday evening, there was a reception held at the president’s office in Altgeld Hall to showcase the artwork of undergraduate students. An opportunity like this can be a boost to a student’s burgeoning art career and a way to build confidence in his or her developing skills; however, this was not the case for some artists.

There were at least four artists who had work selected for display and discovered their work was not available at the reception. It was explained that the available space on the walls of the president’s office was not adequate to hold all of the selected artwork and some items were displayed in the provost’s office. This was reasonable and would have been a non-issue, except the office was locked, preventing attendees from viewing those items.

This seemed to be a sign of bad planning, but a locked door should’ve been easily remedied. What I fail to understand is why the event program didn’t have the names of the students or descriptions of their work that was in the locked office — imagine the embarrassment those students felt when their family and friends couldn’t find evidence they were part of the reception.

Art students work long hours creating their work and spend an enormous amount of money on supplies. Those selected to have their work displayed used their own funds to create the work. In the case of prints and photos, funding for the paper, the printing and the frame to hold the work are provided by the student and can add up to hundreds of dollars for each piece.

Student artists count on events like this for exposure, and, more importantly, the reception provided an opportunity to recoup the expense of the time and materials by offering their work for sale to those attending the event. An education is an investment in your future, and, like with any investment, there must be a return to make it worth the cost. This event cost the students both time and money, but thanks to the mistakes made by those running the event, some students suffered embarrassment and failed to display their work, which prevented them from potential sales.

At the very least, I believe those students are owed a sincere apology. I also think providing a replacement event to display their work to a wide audience would begin to make up for the lost opportunity of Wednesday night.