A student multimedia exhibition currently on display in the Visual Arts Complex explores the lives of the university’s custodial staff.
“Unnoticed: Conversations with the Custodians” incorporates portraits, woodcut silhouettes, and a collection of quotations that capture the staff members’ unique stories.
The idea for the exhibition began when Professor Albert Chong asked his students in Photography 3 to brainstorm projects involving social and political issues. “One goal of the course is to gain experience installing an exhibition,” he said. “In this case, I wanted to marry that to socially relevant issues.”
Cynthia Torres, a CU custodian enrolled in the class, presented her classmates with photos of her work environment. The class decided to collaborate to learn more about the custodians who work in the Visual Arts Complex and honor their contribution to the campus community.
“It’s good to learn more about the world through people who’ve lived all over it,” Torres said. “I hope that this project inspires other departments to recognize campus custodians for their work and for the extraordinary people they are.”
The experience helped create new connections between students and staff.
“We got to interact with some amazing people,” said Stephanie Siegel, a senior studio art major. “If we hadn’t reached out, we wouldn’t have met them.”
“I found out that there’s a Thai custodian who is now my friend, and I also got better at using a CNC [computer numerical control] router for cutting wood,” said senior studio arts major Puttichai Kupadakvinij.
The students and custodians hosted a reception on Dec. 14 to showcase the exhibit, which will remain on the second floor lobby of the Visual Arts Complex through Jan. 11, 2016.