Art 4 Visibility Transforms First-Year Experiences
Art 4 Visibility is a project that commissions student-artists of color for their artwork, which is curated in first-year residential centers across campus.
A conversation between an RA and her freshman resident was the seed for what would become Art for Visibility. The project commissions student-artists of color for their artwork, which is curated in first-year residential centers across campus. Resident advisor Brooke Yanaga ’22 was thinking of her first-year resident when in a class taught by Professor of English Nzadi Keita, where the topic was “Art for Justice.”
“I thought, why not Art for Visibility?” said Yanaga.
Off campus for a semester, Yanaga was joined by the V.I.R.T.U.E. club founder and president Abigail Coachi ’22, who coordinated the project with different departments and students on campus, winning the Inclusive Community Grant and support from the art and art history department to pay student-artists.
Since Yanaga and Coachi have graduated, a new student has taken the lead on the project.
You might know Laura Bradley ’25 for pioneering the women’s wrestling program at Ursinus. She was a first-year student when the project came to first-year common rooms on campus. And in 2023, she’s on a mission to expand Art 4 Visibility. She plans to bring BIPOC student artwork to different buildings, including the different resident houses on Main Street.
“I believe this change will help spread visibility around campus for students,” said Bradley, “especially since there are transfers that join the Ursinus community and don’t get the chance to live in the first-year centers.”
Simultaneously, Bradley is at work on a webpage to archive student works so people can view them from wherever they are. Both changes focus on improving the project’s accessibility.
Just a year since its inception, Art 4 Visibility has transformed living experiences across campus. It is difficult for a project started by graduating seniors to find a protégé willing to take it on. Because the initiative inspired then-freshman Bradley to envision an A4V for all students, the project is set to become more visible than ever.