2 Feb 2012

The Wolfe Center: A Work of Art

Author: Elyette Yert | Filed under: BGSU, Spring 2012, Wolfe Center

Anne Senstad's photograph "Eternal" in the lobby of the Wolfe Center. Photo by Elyette Yert

By Elyette Yert

When entering the lobby of the building, a range of 39 suspended gray and yellow square panels hang by the stairs to welcome students, faculty and the community into the Wolfe Center.

What looks like a large painting really happens to be a contemporary photograph by Anne Katrine Senstad. Senstad’s three photographs can be seen throughout the building, adding to the Wolfe Center’s modern architecture and decor.

The Wolfe Center, a new $42 million building at Bowling Green State University, houses the Department of Theatre and Film and incorporates departments from the College of Musical Arts and the School of Art.

The 93,000-square-foot building opened its doors on Dec. 9, 2011. Classes and theater productions are just some of the events that will be taking place here.

The Wolfe Center has been recognized as the second most important cultural building in North America, said Ron Shields, university professor and the chair of the Theatre and Film Department.

Senstad's photograph "C-19" behind the stairs. Photo by Elyette Yert

Art is a significant component of Bowling Green State University with 997 majors in the School of Art.

“The Wolfe Center is an incredible vehicle for majors that bridge across the arts,” said Katerina Ray, professor and director of the School of Art. It allows for collaborative performances and adds an increased interest for future students, Ray said.

This emphasis on art can be seen within the Wolfe Center where Senstad’s photographs hang for all to see.

Senstad is from Oslo, Norway, but has been living in New York since 1990. The architectural firm that designed the center suggested her to the selection committee for the art program, Senstad said in an email. She created a proposal for the lobby art and was chosen to display her photographs in the building.

These photographs were funded by the Ohio Arts Commission and are considered public art, said Jennifer Sobolewski, BGSU spokesperson.

The Ohio Arts Council laid aside 1 percent of its total budget for the public art piece, Ray said.

The department wanted a young artist who would “give the project their all.” Also, someone who was more open-ended, used newer technologies and digital collaboration, Ray said.

Senstad's photograph "Horizon B4" at the top of the stairs. Photo by Elyette Yert

Senstad created three photography pieces, which took six to nine months to manufacture. In an email she explained her artwork.

The 26-by-87 foot mural titled, “Eternal,”  in the main lobby, is the largest piece she has ever created. It represents the horizon and the large open sky.

The blue circle, “C-19,” allows us to experience pure color and what that means to each individual.

The third piece, “Horizon B4,” represents the horizon and the sky or sun through misty clouds.

Senstad had a lot of good things to say about the Wolfe Center and her experience with being such a big part of it.

“It’s an amazing and very beautiful building. The design is unique and Bowling Green should be very proud. I am proud to have my work there on such a large scale,” Senstad said.

Many students are becoming familiar with the Wolfe Center and the art that is now a part of the building.

“Senstad’s work adds more to the art feeling,” said Jeffery Preece, a freshmen and digital art major.  “It feels more like a modern art building and the artwork adds something extra.”

Faculty members and those closely involved with the Wolfe Center also appreciate the art pieces.

“Senstad’s art compels you to use your imagination and to ask questions about art,” Ray said. “Her work is very abstract and ethereal. We think it will stand the test of time.”

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