By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—You knew IU Southeast faculty and students were good, but did you know they were this good?
Well now you do, courtesy of the annual Authors and Artists exhibit, which kicks off today in the art gallery of the IU Southeast Library and will be on view through Jan. 3, 2018.
The show displays examples of current faculty research—books, articles, photographs, drawings, videos, multimedia, and more—that should satisfy the curiosity of anyone wondering what instructors do when they’re not grading papers.
It also offers students an opportunity to join in and display examples of their research, artwork, poems, and other explorations.
The fact is that while IU Southeast prides itself on its teaching excellence, its faculty members are also engaged in cutting edge research, high-profile publications and collaborations with fellow scholars from around the world.
Students, too, bring creative impulses to campus, and their energy is reflected in their growing presence in the showcase.
“This show demonstrates that there is wide and diverse range of academic endeavors here at IUS,” said Courtney Block, instruction, reference and user engagement librarian, and the show’s organizer. “What I appreciate most about the show is that it highlights the uniqueness of research, and showcases all the different things that come out of this university.”
Of course it doesn’t happen overnight. An energetic team from the Library, including Robin King, Mike Mendick, Kate Moore and Phyllis Nachand assist Block in preparing the event. Beginning in September, they comb the current Faculty Research and Creative Activity report produced by the Office of Academic Affairs and request submissions from faculty. They also invite as many students as they can to submit their published or exhibited works, based on undergraduate and graduate research journals.
Once the submissions have been received and reviewed, the team prepares them for display. Robin King renders book covers, the first pages of manuscripts, screen caps from apps and websites as pdf documents, then has them printed on foam board to hang alongside paintings and drawings, while monographs and proceedings are printed and placed on tables for easy perusal.
To reinforce a sense of community, the team invites new faculty to submit works completed in the past year as a way to help them network with new colleagues and students.
The Authors and Artists event also serves as a reminder that the IU Southeast Library is more than a repository of books and other media. It is a full-fledged research unit within the Office of Academic Affairs, dedicated not only to scholarship, but also to accessing that scholarship.
“Libraries, including IU Southeast Library, are institutions that do not discriminate or judge the value of one scholarship over another, and part of our mission is to provide access to all information,” Block said.
That includes celebrating the fine research going on right under our noses.
“By visiting the exhibit, students can gain a better understanding and perhaps appreciation of the faculty on this campus,” Block said. “Quite often students only view their professors through the lens of the classroom, but by coming to the exhibit, they can see all the other things that faculty contribute to this campus, to the community and even to the world.”