When visitors enter the newly opened Greek Life Center, one of the first things they notice is the new artwork around the Springer Family Rotunda.
“You’ll see people come in and looking at it, ‘I like this part,’” said Jason Biggs, assistant dean of students for Greek Life. “I think most individuals see something that stands out to them. It’s been different things for many of them.”
The artwork by Joelle Dietrick, right, who teaches at Florida State University draws many themes from Greek culture, architecture and language — all set in a green and blue background.
The piece shows neoclassical architecture from around the world, such as the Parthenon and the state capitol buildings, as well as UNT’s Hurley Administration Building, Murchison Performing Arts Center and Business Leadership Building.
It also features quotes in Greek from Plato’s “The Republic” about building community and developing politics. The numbers in the artwork are the geometries of the building.
“I feel like it really speaks to the community that it serves,” Dietrick said.
Dietrick hopes the students are drawn to the piece, noting that they are in an environment where they are processing the world. In the piece, the smaller images of UNT buildings tumble through the artwork, from the classical buildings to the Greek Life Center, just like the students from a variety of disciplines gather in this space.
“I imagine them being like leaves and molecules,” she said. “Life is messy and complicated and the Greek Life Center provides structure to being a college student.”
Dietrick has been working on the project since last summer and installed the prints on the wall in November. She started the work on her computer, using SketchUp 3-D modeling software and Photoshop, as well as software she created to parse fragments of the Greek Life Center and generate the numbers in the background.
The artwork came as part of UNT’s Art in Public Places, initiated in 2009 by the Office of the President and chaired by the dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design. Robert Caslin, a project manager, leads the program’s three-person selection committee of art professionals. CVAD gallery director Tracee Robertson and assistant gallery director Victoria Estrada Berg Decuir oversee it.
The team reviewed resumes and images of artists who submitted their work on the program’s registry, then narrowed down hundreds of applicants to a dozen finalists. A Greek Life Center advisory committee, which included Biggs, Dean of Students Maureen McGuiness and several Greek Life students, made the final selection.
“We did want the artwork to let it be known we are UNT and that’s important to us,” Biggs said.
– Jessica DeLeón, University Relations, Communications and Marketing
Above and below, new artwork in the Greek Life Center. Photos by Michael Clements/URCM. This article can be found at http://inhouse.unt.edu/speaking-community-it-serves