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Public Artists Share Their Wisdom, Creations with BSU Students

Fine Art Review

By Charles Gross

BSU art students gathered in the art gallery Oct. 30 to hear the great minds of four amazing public art artist by the names of Cheryl Forster, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Ayokunle Odeleye, andy Akili Ron Anderson.

They all displayed pieces that they created and presented their knowledge of the field to the bright young art students of BSU. Each artist had created public art pieces around the country that have changed or inspired people’s lives.

Foster was the first to display her artworks of her sketches and displayed just what her process is when she creates her pieces. Jarvis displayed her work in the Washington area, which are the spheres located on Connecticut Avenue.

Similarly, Ayokunle Odele showed one of his most famous pieces of three guardians, which he made for the Bunker Hill fire station in Brentwood, Md. Anderson then showed his creative work with the stain glass inside the New Home Baptist Church located in Washington, D.C. But the real point of the discussion was to show their views on public art in our world today.

These four artist passed their knowledge of the field to the students of BSU and the rest of the audience by giving them an inside look on how it works and how you can succeed in the field. Odeleye made it very clear that power of collaboration is really what makes this field work and special.

"This is not a field where you can work alone, teams build these type of projects” Odeleye said. He also informed students on how to cope with stress by stating that “to relieve stress you must be self motivated, and without good health you can not work long in this field.”

Jarvis outlet to relieve stress is yoga. Her normal routine is that she gets up every morning at 5 a.m. to do yoga, which gives her peace and relaxation throughout the day. In public art it’s important to remember that low stress levels lead to better health and good health leads a long and healthy carrer. That doesn’t just go for the art field but all carriers in general, Jarvis said.

When these artists create these monumental projects they feel a satisfaction and joy that cannot be replaced. Foster said that “the power to influence people is the real love behind public art.” It changes someone’s view of his or her whole day, she said. If you are having a down in the dumps day and you see these spheres in D.C. and it just changes the whole perspective of your day, she said. Not just your day but also your life.

Jarvis spoke of how the spheres touched a blind person’s life. Remember this man cannot see but when he touched it, it gave him something. Something so special that he went and brought other people back who could see to tell him what it was he felt that changed him and inspired him. That is the real power behind public art, Jarvis said. It’s the way it can influence a person’s life and change it for the better.