Business & Art Students Join Forces for Festival of Creativity

In a marriage of the creative and the practical, senior business students are organizing a campus-wide display of work by campus artists, with an Art Week opening reception in a Sawyer Business School space.

The interdisciplinary collaboration, now in its fourth year, teaches art students the business aspect of bringing their creations to the public and gives business students exposure to project management.

“The way the world works, no one is in silos anymore,” said Professor Ilona Anderson of Suffolk’s New England School of Art & Design, who, with art Professor Susan Nichter, is involved in the collaboration to bring their student’s artwork to a wider audience.

Mobile made from black and white plastic hangars

Management role

The role of the students in Professor Dominic Thomas’ project management class is to take Art Week from concept to reality.

“”It just wouldn’t exist if someone didn’t make it happen,” said Thomas, whose students engage in everything from meetings with the student artists and scouting installation sites to renting trucks, installing the work, and handling provenance issues.

Thomas recently had his students chart their activities related to Art Week in class, and “they filled a double whiteboard with tiny text.” Last year his 30 students spent 2,000 hours outside of class time working on Art Week.

Mutually beneficial

“When business graduates join a company and need to work with the creative department, they’ll know what questions to ask, and the art graduates will also know how to work with the management team,” said Anderson.

This year the University’s annual art showcase has invited the English, Theatre, Communication & Journalism, Graphic Design, and other departments to take part, and there will be feature poetry readings, animation and motion graphics displays, and a performance. And an Instagram contest suggests posting a selfie with one of the works of art and tagging it #suartweek2017, with the silliest winning a prize.

The arts festival, which runs throughout March, integrates the New England School of Art & Design into the main campus and offers a taste of the future. The art department will move to the Sawyer Building this summer.

“That’s a very exciting prospect offering a huge opportunity for cross-campus collaboration among various groups,” said Thomas.

Art Week hashtag: #suartweek2017
Find Art Week on Facebook
Reception: 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, Blue Sky Lounge, Sargent Hall

Woman gestures as she discusses colorful images with a second woman