ASU offers a wide range of opportunities for students to show off their creativity and let their work be seen. However, not many students are aware of off-campus opportunities that await them.
The city of Tempe has recently created an art project called “platFORM,” where art students at private, public and community colleges in Arizona may apply with the prospect of having their work displayed for a full year at the Hayden Flour Mill on Mill Avenue.
Maja Aurora, the manager of public art for Tempe, said the general idea of platFORM is to provide opportunities for student artists in order to help them prepare for future projects.
To be selected for platFORM, artists must apply with a résumé, digital images of their work, an image list, a letter of reference and a proposal narrative.
“We get a diverse amount of applications,” Aurora said.
After acceptance, the students have the summer to produce their creations for display.
This year, the project selected Connor Coffman, a digital culture senior, and the combined artists Liz Graves and Rowdy Durham, two graduate students in the masters of architecture program.
Their work was put on display at the Hayden Flour Mill on Sept. 14.
All three artists were suggested to apply to platFORM by James White, a sculpture professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
None of artists have ever applied for a project like this before and were excited about the prospect of putting their work on public display for so long.
Eschewing individual application, Graves and Durham preferred to work together for the project.
“In teams, you are able to collaborate and work through any problems or issues that arise,” Graves said. “In school, we are always working in teams, and we have both experienced the fun and benefits of collaboration.”
Graves and Durham’s piece, entitled “Los Cactus Bailarines,” was set up on a concrete display facing Mill Avenue.
“We chose to create an abstract cactus, because we are constantly inspired by our surroundings, and as architecture students, we are taught to be influenced by our environments,” Graves said.
Pulling inspiration from his immediate surroundings, Coffman’s piece, “Industrial Desert,” features an 8-foot steel sculpture. A saguaro was his muse for this particular work, though he credits most of his inspiration to aspects of science fiction.
Coffman said he was shocked when he was selected, because he knew he was going up against grad students.
“It’s my first big step into the art community,” Coffman said.
There will be a celebration of these new art pieces on Sept. 19 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Hayden Flour Mill, where the public can enjoy live music and view the artists’ submitted work.
For students interested in applying to next year’s platFORM project, the program will begin accepting applications in February and will select the next featured artists in May.
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