At college campuses across the country, spring semester draws to a close. Students are taking finals, selling their books back, and celebrating the arrival of summer. But at the University of Texas at Dallas, the end of Spring semester might also mean the end of the beloved Art Barn. Since the 1970's the barn has served as a studio and gallery space for the students, where they can can create and exhibit their work. When the news broke about the potential closure of the space, due to safety concerns, bothD Magazine and Glasstire outlined the space's value and importance to both the students and to the community at large. But now students and alumni are coming up with creative ways to speak out.
In the past few weeks, the threatened shuttering spurred students and alumni to hold meetings to develop strategies for protest. And because they're artists, they're using- what else?- an installation to speak out in defense of their beloved barn. Three intrepid alumni, Jennifer Venter, Lance Eden and Cynthia Ann Saathoff are collecting sweaters and knitting them together for "Arms Around the Barn." The project's inspiration is artist Carol Zou's "Put a Ring on It," a Yarn Bombing Los Angeles project for which people knit rings around something they value.
Everyone who wishes to declare their affection for the Barn is encouraged to drop off a sweater decorated with name, graduation year, and major. The installation of the sweaters begins this afternoon and the project will continue until May 17. Although the school hasn't released an official decision on whether or not the Art Barn will close for good after this semester, but in the meantime, the controversy has certainly stitched the community together. For more information on "Arms Around the Barn," visit the Facebook event page.