For 20 years, the Class of 1960 has been making annual gifts to the Office of Residential Life to purchase artwork from graduating studio art majors to display in Dartmouth’s residence halls. Now the Class of 2010 is teaming up with the ’60s to co-sponsor this project. This unique partnership was unveiled at the Studio Art Department’s Senior Majors Exhibition opening reception on May 10, when Dennis Goodman ’60 and Julia Zak ’10 both spoke and jointly presented awards to the graduating seniors.
“My classmates and I think this program is really important because it supports Dartmouth’s incredible studio art program and its students,” said Zak ’10, the Class of 2010’s liaison for the program and a 2010-11 studio art intern. “So we’re delighted to team up with the ’60s to keep it going.”
“We had done a lot of collaborating with the Class of 2010 when they were in their senior year. And when they graduated they said, we’d like to continue to do something with you,” said Rick Roesch ’60, who attended the exhibition’s opening reception.
“So we suggested this project to them, and it didn’t take them long to accept,” adds Goodman.
The program began in 1991 at the suggestion of former Dean of Residential Life Mary Turco, according to Dudley Smith ’60. “Mary and I were talking about a potential project for the Class of 1960, and she recommended a new project for hanging art in the dorms, which she had budgeted at $4,000,” says Smith, who also attended the opening reception for the senior exhibition. “She presented this to my classmates, and they voted unanimously to approve it.”
“I think one thing that ran through a lot of our classmates’ minds was that when we lived in those dorms there was nothing on the walls except a telephone,” Roesch says.
“One on each floor!” adds Smith, laughing.
Since the program’s inception approximately 370 pieces of artwork have been purchased (24 were bought this year). Most are currently on display in residence halls around campus, according to Emily Allen Eckels ’85, acting associate executive officer for the Dean of the College office, who has been involved in the program for 15 years.
“We try to select and purchase a variety of styles, topics, and perspectives using a variety of media, while recognizing the limitations of a residence hall wall,” says Eckels, pointing out that sculptures, for example, aren’t as easy to display and protect. The artwork is selected by Campus Life and Office of Residential Life staffers from pieces included in the senior majors exhibition, which is a juried exhibition chosen by studio art faculty. The artwork is then purchased thanks to funding from the Class of 1960 and now the Class of 2010.
“We haven’t figured out all the financial details yet, but the main thing is the Class of 2010 is enthusiastic and they are committed to keeping this program going,” says Goodman.
“Right now the 10s are a team with the ’60s,” says Zak, who met several times with Goodman during the course of the year to discuss this unique class partnership. “And we’ll keep being a team until we can’t be anymore. And then we’ll pass it on to the Class of 2060.”
To see a list of this year’s art acquisitions and to view a Flickr slideshow of many pieces of artwork purchased over the years, go to the Office of Residential Life website. The Senior Majors Exhibition is on display through June 19 in the Jaffe-Friede and Strauss Galleries in the Hopkins Center.