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Tall Wall art is here to stay

Rachel Creagan
Staff Writer

The Tall Wall Space in the Arts and Communications Building currently features an exhibition titled “Plane Suite,” by Almond Zigmund, which is in the process of being added to the University of La Verne’s permanent collection.

Since the building was transformed in 2001 from an auto parts distribution site to the ACB, the wall that spans the height of the building has served as a gallery for rotating exhibitions – and has featured about 15 contemporary artists.

“(Zigmund’s work) is such a prominent piece that fits so well within the architecture of the building,” said Dion Johnson, director of university art galleries.

“(This is) a real opportunity to have something that is so ideal that it enhances our campus.”

Zigmund has been creating site-specific installations for 15 years, dealing with the subject of space and its relationship to people.

“‘Plane Suite’s’ physical dimensions are ideal, because they use the entire space effectively,” art history major Mollie Le Veque said.

“Aesthetically speaking, the abstract composition and colors – especially the orange – mesh seamlessly with the dynamics of the ACB.”

“She is an amazing artist, and it is great to have someone like that on campus,” art major Brandon Spiegel said.

“I think the piece is better than we’ve had on the wall before, more colorful,” said Courtney Gooden, senior broadcasting major.

Since the piece is site specific, and has been produced for the space, the University is extending the exhibition period, according to Johnson.

“Personally, I think it fits the space very well and if the school is keeping it purely because of its visual impact, they’re making an excellent choice.” Le Veque said.

“I would hate to see it become a stationary spot. Spiegel said. “As an artist, I have had a lot of good interactions with them bringing people into that space,” Students and teachers, who spend the majority of their time in ACB, are uneasy about the fixed display on this familiar changing wall.

“I enjoy the piece, but since I see it everyday it would be nice to have new work displayed on the Tall Wall,” Communications Department Administrative Secretary Janice Sullivan said.

“It is a great exhibition but one thing I like about the wall is every so often there is a new display,” Professor of Communica­tions Mike Laponis said. “I think that was a nice aspect, so I will miss that part of it.”

“I think they should keep changing it. If they make it a stagnant image, it will kill the vibe of the building,” senior communications major Christopher Barnes-Baxter said.

“The whole point of the Tall Wall was to be an evolving space, so I think a good compromise would be to offer this function at other venues on campus,” Le Veque said. “I like the idea that many different artists have access to various spaces where their work can be seen and appreciated.”

There are areas on campus that do offer a similar idea, such as the Campus Center, where a number of loaned pieces are rotated.

“It is a rare opportunity to work with an artist based in New York who was able to come to our campus and make us see it in a different way,” Johnson said.

“To be able to preserve that, and to have it become part of our university history, is a lot of what I feel is important as my job as curator.”

Rachel Creagan can be reached at rachel.creagan@laverne.edu.

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