November 10, 2016

Keep your eyes and ears open Wednesday and Thursday around UCF’s main campus – you just may stumble across some pop-up displays that are part of the national Art in Odd Places event.

Mixed-media sculptures, photography, plein air paintings, musical compositions and other interactive works of art will be scattered around campus. (Hint: places such as the Arboretum, John C. Hitt Library, Colbourn Hall, The Burnett Honors College, Counseling and Psychology Services and other central, walkable locations.)

The art is created by students under the guidance of professors across several College of Arts & Humanities disciplines.

“It is fresh, challenging and unexpected. In this experience, art comes to you,” said Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, assistant professor in studio art in the School of Visual Arts & Design. “It intercepts your path to Starbucks or the library, inspires you to observe your environment by highlighting areas you may steadily overlook. It is activating the campus itself as part of the art and who we are as we move through the work.”

The do-not-touch-the-artwork mentality is strong in traditional venues, but putting art elsewhere exposes it to broader audiences.

“It frees the public from some of the preconceived assumptions associated with traditional venues,” said assistant professor Matthew Mosher. “This helps restructure our understanding of what art is in relation to place and its role in our lives.”

Art in Odd Places is an annual art festival started two decades ago by artist Ed Woodham in New York. This will be the first time UCF has participated, and organizers hope it becomes a tradition.

Woodham, who has been active in community art, education and civic interventions for more than 25 years, will be on the UCF campus Wednesday to talk about the national project and his engagement with the urban environment. He will speak at 3 p.m. at the UCF Art Gallery in the Visual Arts Building.

Art in Odd Places also coincides with the annual School of Visual Arts & Design faculty exhibition, which will open at 5 p.m. Wednesday.