A work of art

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Students hurrying through the Benson University Center on their way to class might not fully appreciate that they’re also walking through an art gallery.

Down one hallway, Pablo Picasso’s L’Ecuyere (1960) hangs near Roy Lichtenstein’s Hopeless (1965). Down another hall, students can ponder the social implications of Famous Last Words: The Death of a Poet (Robert Colescott, 1989) or Heaven is Worth it All (Howard Finster, 1984).

Or contrast the realistic style of Ron Kleeman’s bright red fire truck (The Four Horsemen and the Soho Saint, 1976 alongside Ellsworth Kelly’s abstract image (Colored Paper Image XVI (Blue Yellow Red), 1976) and Jasper Johns’ Flags (1967-68).

A short walk through Benson is a journey through fifty years of contemporary art, made possible by a unique educational experience. Every four years since 1963, students, accompanied by faculty mentors, have gone to New York City to purchase art for the Student Union Collection of Contemporary Art — thought to be the only university art collection in the country developed by students.

Media contact: Kerry King, 336.758.5237

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