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Student artworks are creative conduit at Intel facility

September 17, 2009

There’s more than just sand that connects the Silicon Valley with the Valley of the Sun. Artwork by ASU Herberger Institute School of Art students, faculty and alumni is hung on the walls of Intel’s local Ocotillo campus; serving as a conduit between creativity and innovation.

“We’ve enhanced the look and feel of the main building lobbies and high-traffic areas with unique and colorful pieces,” says Jethe D. Becerra, program manager at Intel. “We like the idea of displaying work from local artists and students as a way of supporting those living and working in our community.”

Intel teamed up with the Herberger Institute in January 2009 to develop the Intel fellowship in art and community engagement. The first ASU representative named curator at Intel’s Ocotillo campus was Tricia Loscher, current School of Art Ph.D. student and a recent MA graduate.

“One of the goals of the exhibitions was to offer the Intel audience an immersive, visual experience and richness that is a feast for their eyes and senses,” Loscher says. “It was my hope that the artwork opened people’s eyes to the world they inhabit; to the things of the world that are animate and inanimate.”

The initial February 2009 show included mixed-media paintings by John Dawson, a School of Art MFA alumnus, whose paintings are influenced by his world travels. Michael Stevenson also is a School of Art MFA alumnus whose paintings have shown around the country in solo and group exhibitions. Stevenson’s work was showcased in May 2009 along with an exhibit by six School of Art printmaking students.

The exhibition that wrapped up at the end of July 2009 included more than 30 works of drawings, prints and paintings. Each piece was accompanied by a brief description about the Herberger Institute-Intel partnership that included a photo and an artist introduction.
During exhibitions, Loscher fielded queries about the pieces from Intel employees, who then expressed their feelings about how the works have been influential to them with Becerra.

“Several employees have commented about their appreciation of the color that the art has brought to the campus,” Becerra says. “We hope to engage employees’ interest in art and perhaps even expand their knowledge of different variations of artwork.”

The response from everyone involved is inspirational to Loscher. Her desire has helped to create more partnerships and programs that connect artists with their communities.

“It’s remarkable to see how the works of art that are filled with poetic feeling and life has made the Intel workspace extraordinary,” Loscher says. “It’s been very rewarding to help facilitate students’ exhibitions and provide encouragement for these young artists by exhibiting in a corporate community.”

The Intel fellowship in art and community engagement continues at Intel’s Ocotillo campus through December 2009. Upcoming exhibitions include works by School of Art faculty members Mary Neubauer and Mary Hood as well as sculptures by School of Art students created from copper donated by Intel. Joe Baker, Herberger Institute’s director for community engagement has been active in the fellowship’s development.

“Connecting students with the community through corporate partnerships like Intel’s provides them a vast learning laboratory, helping them evolve as artists and arts ambassadors,” Baker says.