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Published: Thursday, 9/22/2011

CAMPUS CORNER

UT joins global event promoting urban art

BY DANIEL ROMAN
UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO

The Blade features periodic columns from area college students as part of our Campus Corner feature. Daniel Roman is a student at the University of Toledo.

The University of Toledo's College of Visual and Performing Arts is a bastion for ensuring that art thrives in the city.

This month the departments in the College of Visual and Performing Arts joined a global art event to help promote art in Toledo. Sponsored by the Toledo Uptown Business Association, "PARK(ing) Day" is an annual project in which citizens and artists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into something visually captivating.

The project started in 2005 when a San Francisco art dealer converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since then PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement with organizations creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world. The mission is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban living. Participation fees and donations from the local event will go to the UpTown Association.

PARK(ing) Day took place on Adams Street in uptown Toledo with participants transforming pieces of concrete jungle into unique spaces showcasing the arts. Each of the spaces was devoted to a specific artistic venture found within the College of Visual and Performing Arts: one to theater and film, one to music, one to the art department's installation class, one to the art department, and another to UT's Arts Living and Learning Community.

A space was also left open to theatre and film faculty who are a part of the Glacity Theatre Collective.

Just as you would see at any public park space, people socialized on benches within these grassy knolls along a busy street. Other people took advantage of their allotted 7-foot-by-11-foot spaces by displaying abstract sculptures using automotive materials.

Eventually all 29 of the available spaces were delightfully transformed into little works of art. One space near 12th Street hosted a picnic table and croquet set. Students from the Arts Living and Learning Community made a tree out of recycled materials. Manhattan's restaurant staff built a boat dock from their patio to the street. This aquatic motif came complete with a constructed row boat and fishing tackle.

The Toledo School for the Arts featured some of their dancers doing a performance outside their building. It was an entertaining event as people could be seen relaxing and laughing as they enjoyed this temporary luxury.

Contact Daniel Roman at: droman3@rockets.utoledo.edu.



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