ASI Art Program spotlights campus-wide creativity

By Grace Johnson, April 20, 2021

For the first time in ASI Art Program history, a new exhibit emerged meant to celebrate the innovation and creativity in all fields of study. Art submissions were accepted for “Motivation Creations” this month from students of all majors to showcase the talent of groups that are not typically recognized as artistic.

Cal Poly Pomona students were able to submit any art piece that depicts their motivation to pursue their major, which could include computer-aided designs, music sheets, programming, landscape architecture designs, blueprints or anything else that displayed students’ creativity.

“This exhibit stemmed from the reality that we typically only get submissions from art majors,” said ASI Art Program Student Supervisor Annikka Rodriguez, a third-year aerospace engineering student. “I really wanted to stress getting more majors to participate because I wanted to expand and emphasize that art comes in a bunch of different forms and those forms do include architecture, landscape architecture, AMM and engineering.”

According to Rodriguez, the program intends to encourage more students to participate in the upcoming exhibits so that well-deserved recognition reaches those who work diligently and meticulously in their fields of study.

Previous ASI art exhibitions were exclusive to art students, limiting representation of other majors.

“I think a lot of people have been struggling with feeling worthy in their majors or as creative beings,” said exhibition participant Jasmine Najarro, a fourth-year visual communication student. “This gives me and other students an opportunity at their own school to feel appreciated and valued for their hard work. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to share something that you created with your peers and even your professors without being graded or criticized.”

Art submissions by Jasmine Najarro, a fourth-year visual communication student, (pictured left and right) and Brian Espinoza, a fifth-year landscape architecture student (pictured middle). (Courtesy of Jasmine Najarro and Brian Espinoza)

Submission requirements for “Motivation Creations” were broad, allowing students to have full creative capacity when developing or choosing their work.

Each student was asked to submit up to two pieces of art per medium. For instance, if a student wanted to submit two graphic design pieces and two paintings, they were able to do so but were restricted in submitting four graphic design pieces.

Submissions were accepted via email and once their works were accepted, a form was sent to fill out with questions in regard to why each student selected their major, what their piece meant to them personally and how it pertained to their motivation within their major.

“Any sort of human expression can be art,” explained participant Brian Espinoza, a fifth-year landscape architecture student. “Anything a human being makes to show any kind of expression or emotion is art to me.”

Understanding the program’s goal to spotlight all students’ work, students were delighted with the range of creative freedom given to participants to display their projects.

“It doesn’t matter what major you are,” said Espinoza. “As a landscape architecture major, it meant a lot to me to be able to showcase the hard work that goes into a design, even if it’s not traditionally categorized as art. It all comes down to what moves you and moves others.”

Other student participants were appreciative that the exhibition reignited their creative spirits during the pandemic’s chaotic and uncertain times.

“This exhibit made me excited because it gave me an opportunity to have motivation to do something creative amid the chaos,” expressed Najarro. “I have and will continue to promote this because students should be pushed to create, especially those who are underrepresented for their own form of art. Having everyone come together into one exhibit is amazing to see.”

Program organizers, including Rodriguez, hope to encourage students to reach out to their creative classmates and peers so that this celebration of art can become a common commodity on CPP’s campus.

Art submissions closed on April 9 and all pieces accepted for “Motivation Creations” will be posted toward the end of the month on ASI BEAT’s Instagram and website.

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