Denison’s Visual Arts Lending Library lends student artwork to faculty and staff for their offices and workplaces for an academic year. The initiative was launched by associate professor of studio art Sheilah ReStack, who has enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm for the artwork and the ways it speaks to people.

Associate professor Lauren Araiza chose an artwork titled Big Brother (2007) by BFA Fatimah Bey ’23. “As soon as I walked into the event, I knew that was the one I was going to choose,” Araiza said. “As an African American history professor, I believe it is important to have artwork in my office that has a connection to what I am teaching.”

Araiza was also drawn to the piece for its bold colors, and for how it reminded her of her daughter.

Bey’s piece was part of the 2023 Denison Museum exhibition of studio art senior work before being chosen for the library. She said the painting of her and her brother reminds her of “the beauty and complexity” of their relationship. 

“I am reminded that other people can recognize that beauty within us as well,” Bey said, “particularly as it often felt as if we couldn’t be recognized as a whole when we were children.” 

The next Lending Library event will take place in September 2024. The collection will be hung with the support of studio art supervisor Shahid Khan and student assistants Lauren Dyer ‘25 and Chloe Chai ‘25. The entire Denison community will be invited to attend and choose a piece for their workspace.

“My favorite part is thinking about the work that is made by students living in the world and bringing beauty, contemplation, and conversation to members of our community,” ReStack said. 

February 9, 2024