Student retention is a primary consideration of my employer, SVSU. Student retention is necessary for the economic success of the institution. Even more important are the advantages and skills that students earn while pursuing their degree. In an attempt to create a spirit of collaboration and community (a major factor in student retention) I followed the lead of many excellent institutions around the country and conceived of a large scale art activity tailored for first year students, transfers, and foreign exchange students in art. My criteria for the project was that it would be easy to install, easy to take down, and on a heroic scale necessitating collaborative problem solving. As luck would have it the Marshall Fredericks Museum had open gallery space between exhibitions and with the help of the muesum's dirtector Marilyn Wheaton we were able to secure the gallery space on very short notice. The most remarkable part of the experience for me was watching the students (most of whom had only been in college for a week) spontaneously apply some of the basic principles of design on a large scale. It was also clear that students were having fun working together, creating both images and friendships.
all images courtesy of Kyle Will