Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Students Share Projects by Exhibiting Works at University Libraries

One of the requirements of Ball State University’s Honors College is that seniors design a project which represents a culmination of their learning while at Ball State. The student is also encouraged to share the project with a larger community. Many students have found that Bracken Library is an ideal place for this since students are able to exhibit their work and host a small reception.

On April 25, 2007, senior student Lauren E. Williams exhibited her senior thesis project at Bracken Library and also held a reception with light refreshments for friends and visitors. The project was part of her independent study, Honors College 499.

Lauren works with drawings to make woodcuts which are then placed into handmade books. Her exhibit included several books, two blocks from the book, an ink brayer for rolling the oil-based ink onto the blocks, a spoon for pressing the ink by hand onto the paper from the backside, and some gouges for making wood chips.

Her work is entitled The Son Dog and the Psalm 139, Verses 1-19. Memorizing the Psalm two years ago, Lauren said she liked the idea of setting it in type, “… letter by letter, like a ritual."

“Her beautiful, original, and very interesting book, The Son Dog and the Psalm 139 verses 1-19, is one of the most impressive works by an undergraduate that I've ever seen,” said Dr. Robert C. Nowatzki, Associate Professor, Department of English.

Lauren commented that her printmaking professor, Prof. David B. Johnson, Department of Art, inspired her, and that Prof. Sarojini J. Johnson showed her how to cover and bind the books, which is another form of art itself.

Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, said that he is very pleased that students and faculty like to exhibit their work in Bracken Library.

“In our own small way, we are calling attention to the liberal arts and helping to expand the horizons of our students for discovery and learning,” he said.

For information on hanging artwork or displaying art in exhibit cases, contact Susan G. Akers, Marketing Communications Manager, Ball State University Libraries, SAkers@bsu.edu, (765) 285-5031.

This newsletter article first appeared in The Library Insider 5(5): 7; May 2007.

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