Student competitions to enhance Manifest campus rejuvenation

By Campus Reporter

The Wabash Arts Corridor is scheduled to host two competitions for current students to display their work, along with new projects to rejuvenate the campus, to be displayed at Manifest on May 13.

“Columbia is a sidewalk college,” said Mark Kelly, vice president of Student Success. “The thought is we are not just in a building. We push out into the world, into the urban setting that we live in.”

Competing students can have their work showcased as a series of banners above the Averill and Bernard Leviton A+D Gallery, 619 S. Wabash Ave., and as a banner on the south-facing wall of the 623 S. Wabash Ave. Building.

According to Kelly, the murals will change every six months. The winners, two muralists and one banner designer, will be awarded $250. The deadline for submissions is March 1.

Kelly said a WAC portrait competition will also display at Manifest, in which illustration students can submit portraits of South Loop residents to be displayed in the windows of local businesses.

Additionally, Kelly said he will meet with  fashion studies students  who will “dress” some of the fences along Wabash Avenue to give them a sense of identity.

“The WAC is a community,” Kelly said. “The community is coming to life in student work.”

Neysa Page-Lieberman, director of the Department of Exhibitions, Performances & Student Spaces and chair of the WAC Committee, said the banner and mural competition commissions will be part of an exhibition about the history of WAC at The Arcade in the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building, which will be displayed from March 31 until Manifest. She said anyone can visit The Arcade to vote from the top five commissions.

Page-Lieberman said competitions have been geared toward alumni in the past, but she looks forward to working with current students instead. 

Kelly said the student activity fee will fund all of the student exhibition and streaming spaces and The Arcade. 

“We want to have the work of students who are taking risks and experimenting in their work and catapult them to a public level of display,” Page-Lieberman said. “We want to see students put their best foot forward.” 

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