By Steven Jackson
Last fall, the student art murals in Java Joint were painted over. The old wall art featured whimsical fish-like mechanical creatures, stencils of the human form and cartoon robots, among other things. The removal of the murals was met with scattered negative reviews last semester; the change came as a surprise, and many students miss the funky illustrations.
The new paint job was recommended by a small group of students last year, said John Winkelmann, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life.
The students were part of an ad hoc committee formed by President Bierman. Former Beloit Student Congress president Jeb Bleckley was among the students on the task force. Committee details such as member names and the number of students involved are not known as this time.
The disappearing Java Joint murals is part of a larger initiative to move new art into Pearsons, said Winkelmann. The carpet paintings in the Annex of Pearsons were also removed, as were similar wall hangings on the second floor.
“A lot of the art had been drawn on [and] had stuff written on it,” said Winkelmann of the Java Joint murals. “It was on its way down.”
The decision to paint over the murals was viewed as any other “operation of the building,” said Winkelmann. For this reason the change was not subject to review or input from the student body, apart from the ad hoc task force.
Future changes in Pearsons will be more open to student voices, said Winkelmann. The Pearsons Advisory Committee, still in the formative stages, will contribute input and ideas for changes and improvements in Pearsons. The committee will be composed mostly of students along with one or two faculty and staff.
Committee recommendations will be considered in future development of Pearsons, but all changes will still ultimately be decided by the administration.
With the old art gone, new art is on the way. Winkelmann and Director of Student Activities Jennie Hartzeim are currently reviewing a proposal for a mural near the TV nook in Java Joint.
If you are interested in submitting an art proposal, or if you would like to apply for the Pearsons Advisory Committee, contact Winkelmann at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hartzeim at email@example.com.