By Haley Jones, Assistant Arts and Life Editor
Early in the fall semester, students may have noticed that there were intricate, hanging string installations in Talbot, Ebaugh, Slayter, and Burton Morgan.
These installations, especially the one in Slayter, seemed to disappear almost as quickly as they had magically appeared. Even more compelling, last spring after Easter Sunday over 200 golden eggs were intentionally placed in various locations around campus. Typically, it is not common for student artwork to be prominently visible on Academic Quad. So, where are these pieces coming from?
Look no further than sophomore Evan Stoler. Stoler is a sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, who is majoring in studio art and biology. Stoler expressed that part of what led him to attend Denison was the art department. “We have some really talented art kids at this school, [and] that’s part of why I came here…” said Stoler.
Upon first meeting, two things that stood out about Stoler were the humility and genuine demeanor he possessed while discussing his artwork. He mentioned that he wasn’t sure what the community at large thought of his golden egg project—but that doesn’t mean people weren’t taking notice.
“I saw some people with a couple eggs in their water bottle holders on their backpacks like they were collecting them,” said Stoler.
It’s no coincidence that many of his string installations are no longer hanging in most buildings. According to Stoler, “most of them were ruined within days…people messed with it, but I was aware it was going to happen. I just wish people were not as aggressive.” These detailed pieces on average took at least one day to complete. One of Stoler’s friends, first-year Netaya Strothers from Dorchester, Mass., helped him put up the larger pieces in Slayter and Ebaugh. The goal of his strings series was to subtly incorporate new shapes, movement, and direction.
Stoler is a conscientious student artist who wants to share what is an intrinsic aspect of his experience at Denison with others. He expressed the necessity of extending displays of student artwork beyond the walls of Bryant Arts Center and mentioned that “[many students] don’t get to see a lot of the amazing artwork we do there.”
One of Stoler’s current aspirations includes “…doing commissioned work for departments on campus.” After his first chandelier installation in Ebaugh, Stoler was approached by Associate Professor and Chair of the Chemistry department Kimberly Specht about making a permanent chandelier structure that would hang above the entrance. This alone could be the beginning of helping to bring more student artwork up to A-Quad and on residential quads.
“I see public artwork as a breath of fresh air during our somewhat rigorous lifestyle, especially for those students who never set foot in Bryant. When I see work of other students, public or not, it’s nice to take a second to appreciate some else’s endeavors.”
Academics aside, part of his involvement on campus includes playing club tennis, a position on the MLK Committee, and his role as a Denison Experience in Urban Culture and Expression leader.
Stoler has begun to sell some of his artwork through a local student business called Contemporary Creations. To view these pieces and to learn more, visit www.contemporarycreations.bigcartel.com