Most students, who have been to the art building and needed to answer the call of nature, have noticed the decorative bathroom stalls and walls. Others might remember the elevator as it was before it was replaced earlier this year. Frequent users of the facilities on the second floor may even tell you about the stall with no door, but a shower curtain, being the only barrier between doing your business and accidental onlookers. Then there are the lockers with broken hinges, and in some cases no side paneling at all. These are just a few of the quirks of the beloved Breidenstein Hall, home of the art department.
The question is, do these defects and acts of vandalism reflect poorly on the art students? Or do they add a much needed sense of character and silliness to the building? While interviewing students, they expressed their fondness of the scribbled anecdotes and positive messages on the bathroom stall walls. One student even went as far as to say it made her feel at home when she was visiting the college before she applied. Some of the great things written there at present include:
“Stop telling yourself that you are not good enough. You need to accept that you are who you are, and who you are is f****** awesome! Okay?”
“Some see a weed, some a wish.”
“There is such thing as faith and trust and pixie dust.”
“It is better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you’re not.-Nirvana”
I am sure that many students have gone into that bathroom during a break and had their spirits lifted after a tough critique or exam. So why do they keep painting over them? They are not harming the students or the university. So why cover them up?
In the basement where the lockers are held for art students to keep their supplies, the lockers sport stickers, paintings, sharpie marker notes such as “Vandalism Rules.” The students really make it theirs. Army men peek out from all directions as if guarding their belongings, half finished sculptures lay in all corners of the room, clay dust kicks up every time they put down their backpacks. It becomes homey in a creative sort of way. Yet, every now and then you see things disappear, get painted over, whole doors removed and replaced. Why? Beyond needed repairs, is there a reason we need to change anything? Either way, art students will continue to participate and enjoy these acts of creativity.