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Diversity Through the Arts; UAB’s student art exposition
Diversity Through the Arts is an art exposition which gives students an outlet to share their artwork with UAB and Birmingham. The event was coordinated by Programs Committee co-chairs Anjali Wagle and Taylor Vines. The USGA-sponsored event also counted as a cultural event for foreign language students. Although the event aims to celebrate diversity, the Programs Committee has opted to have a nebulous theme in order to avoid forcing artists to follow a certain trope. As a result, the artists’ are allowed to interpret the meaning of diversity individually, and decide which unique piece of art to display. USGA Programs co-chair Anjali Wagle says, “It was really about diversity of UAB students, and that could be taken in many ways. When people asked what the theme was, we didn’t want to set in stone or put boundaries on what their art should be.” As a result, a wide variety of art styles, subjects, and cultures were represented.
According to Anjali, “The main point of it is to allow students from all different majors in UAB to sort of show off their pieces in an art gallery type of setting.” This event was not affiliated with any of UAB’s art academic programs in order to allow a wider variety of students to be featured in the art show. Encouraging students who may not be studying the humanities to practice and share their art was a large focus of the event. This was the first year that performance art was included in the exposition, so visitors’ ears were met with live music and spoken word poetry as they perused the artwork that was on display. Anjali says that next year, performance art will play a greater role in the event, and it will be more a musical exposition with art viewing during the intermissions.
The Alumni Society was invited to purchase the students’ pieces. Ten percent of the proceeds were put in the student emergency fund. This fund is for students who have run across tough times and need small loans.
The food was catered by Sodexo and they celebrated the theme of cultural diversity in the spread that they prepared for the event. Among the hors d’oeuvres served were samosas, chips with humous, and assorted cheeses. The spread had Middle Eastern, Greek, and French foods.