Benches receive bold revamping

Benches receive bold revamping

by Sarah Tanori, Staff Writer

The teal and gray benches around campus are essentially the history of San Diego State. They date back as early as the 1930s when they were first installed. With the collaboration of the SDSU art department and Arts Alive, these benches are being completely revamped this year. The plain color aesthetic will be no more as art students team up to bring their original designs onto 19 benches all around campus.

The project began last semester as an assignment exclusively for an upper division course. In fall 2014, the class was open to all students by the project coordinator, professor and studio art lecturer David Fobes.

Students broke up into teams and created their own blueprint of the benches. This included finding a color palette, making and testing stencils and presenting a Photoshop rendering of what the real bench would look like. Not all of the drawings were chosen, however. The process of having a design selected consisted of presenting the design to Fobes, who then presented it to the Arts Alive board and eventually to the dean of the arts department for approval.

On Monday, Nov. 3, Fobes invited guest artist Monty Montgomery to perform a demo for the students of the Design One class as part of the collaborative process. Montgomery’s demo involved painting a campus bench himself for the students, with stencils and spray paint.ENTERTAINMENT_benches2_jennamackey

Monty Montgomery is a contemporary pop and abstract artist whose primary focus is the connection between artist and environment. Picking up the energies of objects and nature is especially important in a project of this caliber as it is a representation of the school itself.

The SDSU bench project isn’t just an assignment. In a time when art programs are in decline, it’s a confounding statement that students, staff, and San Diego community members are coming together through their fundamental love of art. These lively benches will be popping up around campus in the upcoming week, so take a closer look.

 

Also read: Day of the Dead gallery keeps art alive

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