USG calls for more art through the Student Art Program intitative

After being elected into the table with just two weeks remaining of the 2018 spring semester, Representative Sen. Liam Giordano proposed the Student Art Program initiative. The initiative seeks to place student created artwork throughout Baruch College by hosting a contest where students can submit their artwork.

Currently, there is no set date for when the contest will take place, but it is anticipated to be hosted sometime next semester. The contest will have a fair and impartial judging committee to select the winners.

The SAP will be coordinated by Giordano and executed under the co-management of Representative Sen. and Chair of the Arts Committee Brandon Paillere and Editor-in-Chief of Encounters Magazine Rebecca Vicente.

In an interview, Giordano said, “I really want the students to define the campus rather than the campus define the students.”

He hopes that “it will liven not only the individual walls and hallways at Baruch but also liven the spirits of students at Baruch.”

The proposal suggests that the SAP will liven areas on campus that currently have no artistic presence. These areas are referred to as “critical zones.”

“I spent about 10 hours of my time going around this building,” Giordano said, “Originally I had about 300 areas where art could have been placed in but I really had to think how feasible that was not only for facilities but for us to manage.” Of the 300, Giordano narrowed down the critical zones to 74 of the most populated areas within the Newman Vertical Campus between floors two and 11. The 23rd Street Building will be excluded in the initiative due to the complexity of legal contracts with construction companies.

Giordano explained that the first step in going forward with the proposal is to meet with Lisa Edwards, assistant vice president of the Office of Campus Facilities and Operations, for approval and discussion of the logistics of it.

Once the terms for the contest are set and they pick their judgment panel, Giordano and his team will go to every department within the three schools, including the Zicklin School of Business, to market the contest to a range of students.

Giordano, Paillere and Vicente came up with a basic preliminary budget for the SAP, but the budget is still a work in progress. They are operating under the assumption that facilities do not have an existing earmarked budget for the artwork and are considering the possibility of self–funding the initiative.

Scholarships were accounted for within the budget for an estimated maximum of $3,000 awarded to artists behind the 10 highest ranked submissions of the contest. However, this is not a set amount; after meeting with Campus Facilities and Operations, Giordano and his team will have a better idea of the amount to which they can increase the scholarships.

Giordano expressed that he feels this is the most exciting part of the project and commended Paillere for prioritizing the scholarships, adding that “students should be awarded financially for their work.”

“We want to legitimize these student artists,” he said. “We’re not just going to utilize or exploit their work to make Baruch something more aesthetically pleasing."