Art appreciation

Odum’s Library Mural Inspires Growth, Transformation Through Knowledge and Art

July 14, 2022
22-101

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Tim Nijenhuis from Hamilton Ontario, Canada is pictured with ‘Metamorphosis’, a mural he created inside Valdosta State University’s Odum Library. The mural is 24 feet 4 inches wide and 10 feet 6 inches high.

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Deborah Davis of Valdosta State University, chair of the Library The Art Committee, Certified Archivist and Director of Archives and Special Collections, and Alan Bernstein, Dean of Libraries, funded the Odum Library Mural Project with community donations, a legacy of gifts they have supported with their own personal funds over the years. Their love for VSU began when they were college students in the late 1970s and early 1980s and continued through their service at the university for nearly four decades.

VALDOSTA – “Metamorphosis” by Tim Nijenhuis creatively uses the space and wall surface of the south atrium of the Odum Library – a wall of textured medium-density fiberboard measuring 24 feet 4 inches wide and 10 feet 6 inches high. It fits well into this place of research and discovery, this destination promoting education through the unexpected.

The Odum Library is, after all, a place where the world of art appreciation goes hand in hand with the learning environment, a concept that makes sense to those who understand the correlation between artistic endeavors and cognitive abilities.

When Odum Library launched its long-awaited search for a one-of-a-kind mural for its south atrium a year ago, Deborah Davis, chair of the Library The Art Committee, Certified Archivist and Director of Archives and Special Collections at Valdosta State University, had high hopes.

“Members of the Library Art Committee wanted wall to invite, intrigue and perhaps even confuse students who come to our area,” she explained. “We wanted to make a strong statement about the centrality of ART as KNOWLEDGE. We asked for themes like books, VSU history, knowledge and learning, and indicated that abstracts are the We really wanted this piece to be Art in Odum.

The request for proposals reached artists locally, across the state and nation, and around the world. The library’s art committee carefully reviewed and discussed the approximately 30 designs submitted for review, looking for the one that best showcased the creative impact of libraries while inspiring and exciting the overwhelming number of students, faculty, and teachers. , staff members and guests who visit Odum. Library every day.

Nijenhuis’ “Metamorphosis” came across as “the best expression of our theme of libraries, learning, and what that can lead to,” Davis noted.

Nijenhuis’ design gives the illusion that the panels that make up the wall space turn into books. Books gradually open, their pages overflow, turning into birds – birds that symbolize positive energy, freedom, life and adventure.

“I take pride in being able to create works of art and successfully respond to client visions and requests,” said the Hamilton-based father of three in Ontario, Canada. “A great source of inspiration is listening to the local community, doing historical research and investigating the surrounding landscape, architecture and culture. My works tend to enhance the surrounding environment and bringing together people from all walks of life, from all social or ethnic backgrounds.My pieces arouse thought and energy, but I always want them to have a positive and constructive vibe.

Born in 1975 in Enschede, the Netherlands, Nijenhuis has over two decades of experience painting large scale murals. He has created over 100 murals, many of which are large-scale public works of art. He is driven by a desire to be a positive force in the lives of others by using his artistic talent to make a difference.

Nijenhuis recently traveled to VSU where he spent just under two weeks single-handedly painting his massive “Metamorphosis” mural inside the Odum Library.

“My application techniques include gravity feed spray guns, paint rollers and brushes,” he explained. “I acquired the skills and knowledge necessary to properly prepare the surfaces. I use top quality water based acrylic latex paints and provide a protective primer underneath to ensure proper paint adhesion. For areas with high traffic or frequent use, I usually apply a clear epoxy protective coat to resist dirt and reduce the risk of damage.

“Metamorphosis” is the latest addition to the University Library’s Art in Odum collection, which includes hundreds of pieces spanning a wide variety of media, aesthetic perspectives and visual expression, as well as centuries of creative expression. The library is also home to rotating galleries that bring new insights a few times a year.

“We celebrated art in Odum Library since 2011,” Davis explained. “The goal is to make art accessible to the public in unexpected spaces, so that it is experienced in the context of doing something else, like studying or visiting friends. Some of our artworks are large and meant to be seen through spaces, as part of the space itself, and some are quite small and reward very close viewing.We have art from many styles and schools spread all over the world. library and in other campus buildings.

Davis and Alan Bernstein, Dean of Libraries, funded the special project with donations from the community, a legacy of gifts they have supported with their own personal funds over the years. Their love for VSU began when they were college students in the late 1970s and early 1980s and continued through their service at the university for nearly four decades.

Davis said Nijenhuis’ “Metamorphosis” is “the zenith” of the Library Art Committee’s work. She thanked her fellow committee members – Julie Bowland, a recently retired professor from the Department of Art and Design and director of the Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery; Dana Jack, Administrative Coordinator of Odum Library; Samantha Paul, reference librarian; Catherine Bowers, reference librarian; Doug Carlson, Library Technical Assistant for Archives and Special Collections; and Dallas Suttles, Associate of Computing Services for Archives and Special Collections – for their tireless efforts in bringing the project to fruition.

“We’ve wanted a mural project for eight years,” she added. “I love this piece. It’s a dream come true.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=860179508704217 to view a time-lapse video of the mural creation process.

On the Web:

https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/library/

https://ninehouseproductions.com/index.html