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ARTS: Abandoned art makes its way around campus

ARTS: Abandoned art makes its way around campus

By Heron Carraman
Bridge Contributing Writer
Published Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022

Most people would never want to abandon their artworks, but some students would beg to differ.

The students in Instructor of art Sandra Martinez’s class left their art behind all over Texas A&M International University for others to find. People can expect to find a variety of pieces all around campus, waiting to be discovered by passersby.

“The abandoned artwork can be anything they wish to create–jewelry, drawing, painting, etc.,” Martinez said.

Abandoned ceramic sculpture
David Peralta | Bridge
This ceramic sculpture by artist Eddy Rosas from the Spring 2021 Ceramics I class sits in a glass display case at the Student Center.

Along with choosing what to create, the students also chose where to leave their artwork.

“The students can leave their artwork creations anywhere they choose,” Martinez said. “Mostly where people gather or frequent.”

If someone were to find the abandoned art, Martinez believes it could have a positive effect on them.

“Abandoning artwork is a way to brighten someone’s day, a form of paying forward and making someone’s day better and, hopefully, getting the person who discovered the art to do the same,” Martinez said.

She hopes her students will use what they learned in this activity and apply it to their daily lives.

“Art can be found anywhere, it can be shared anywhere and most importantly it is always a good feeling to give and see happiness on someone’s face to make someone’s day brighter/happier by finding the artwork along with the words of inspiration,” she said. 

One of the students participating in the art abandonment activity was junior Leslie Davila.

 “The art I am abandoning on campus is meaningful art,” Davila said. “The art I abandoned is on rocks, paper or just handmade crafts.”

Abandoned ceramic sculptures
David Peralta | Bridge
This ceramic sculpture, top, by artist Vanessa Rodriguez and another by artist Travis Gonzalez, both from the Spring 2021 intermediate ceramics class, sit in a glass display case at the Student Center.

While some of the students made the art for personal enjoyment, Davila decided on giving meaning behind her artwork she abandoned.

“The art I make is fun and relaxing to me; however, there is meaning behind the art,” she said. “How I decided to make up for the art abandonment was the way I see people–especially college students. Being a college student myself, I always want words or quotes of encouragement, strength or any other emotion that will help me push through my days. To me, those words are signs that I am on the right path, even though it is hard to stay on.”

Davila hopes her artwork will help whoever is fortunate to come across it on campus.

The purpose of abandoning my art on campus is to reach one college student who might be wanting to give up on college, or another situation in their life,” Davila said. “The reason is because we do not know what they [went] through or what they are going through, so I hope my art helps them to keep going and to know there are better days coming.”

Aside from leaving her art on campus, Davila planned to also abandon her art in other places, hoping her positive message will help those who are going through a tough time.

“I am abandoning my art on campus, but also in areas where someone needs to read what I have written, based on my art I have made,” Davila said. “For example, at grocery stores, funerals, [tractor trailer transportation] companies and more.”

Abandoning art in those places is not just for the sake of convenience for Davila. Just like her artworks, the location where the art is left has meaning as well.

  The reason for abandoning my art in these locations is because so many people are working extremely hard, feel sadness or have a day that they do not have that much money to buy as much food for their families,” Davila said. “They are places where many people come and need a sign to know it’s okay to feel the way they do, but to go to places or people to find joy again, and to keep doing what you’re doing.”

Whoever comes across the abandoned art on campus can take it home with them and display it if they wish. Hopefully, it will inspire them to pay it forward setting off a chain reaction of positivity.

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