Student photography featured in Emory's Woodruff Library

Published 02-15-2016

by Michaela Whatnall

The student photography exhibit is displayed in the Level 2 Learning Commons area across from the Goizueta Business Library.

Striking photographs by members of the Emory Photography Club are featured in a new display in the university’s Robert W. Woodruff Library. The display of five photos, now on view in the Level 2 Learning Commons, is part of an initiative by Emory Student Digital Life to modify the library’s second floor to better suit the needs of students.

The Learning Commons renovation during the summer of 2014 was a collaboration among the Emory Libraries’ Student Digital Life, services division, and facilities offices, and the university’s campus design office. One part of the design, which emphasized creating a welcoming work and study environment, was the introduction of student art.

Only a month after the library exhibitions and Learning Commons teams met to discuss the potential to display student art, Liv Wang, vice president of the Emory Photography Club, reached out to Learning Commons coordinator Alex Kyrychenko to propose hanging student photography in the library. Less than a month later, the new exhibit was installed.

The team chose an orange wall near the front of the Learning Commons, across from the Goizueta Business Library, where a comfortable study space with soft seating and plenty of outlets is situated.

The photographs were taken and selected by members of the Emory Photography Club. Library exhibitions designer/fabricator John Klingler, who was responsible for the installation, included a text panel to the left of the display, which provides information about the art, the creators, and the Emory Photography Club. “It’s always important to know more about a piece of art,” says Kyrychenko. “To know more about the creator, about the context, about what the author would like to say through it.”

The display does not focus on a particular theme, but it is likely that future displays will. The art pieces will rotate approximately every three months. Plans are to exhibit student artwork in designated areas in the Learning Commons on a regular basis.

“We’re really excited to be able to showcase the creativity of Emory students,” says exhibitions manager Kathy Dixson. “In the future, we hope to feature student artwork that reflects their creativity inspired by working with our Libraries’ collections of original materials.”

The concept of displaying student art in a study space is not a new one on Emory’s campus. Student photography plays a prevalent role in the interior design of Emory’s Cox Hall Computing Center. Many of those photos also come from members of the Emory Photography Club.

Now, student photography has another home at Emory. “Learning Commons is a space for students, used by students, and in a sense, run by students,” says Kyrychenko. “The art is all about creativity, so it inspires creativity. And this space is about inspiring creativity for the students.”