Columbus - The Student Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO) is using Buckeye creativity to decorate newly renovated study spaces in the Younkin Success Center. Three student-athletes have donated pieces for display through spring semester.
David Graham, Assistant Vice Provost & Associate AD for Student-Athlete Success, was inspired to use student-athlete art in the renovations after meeting with Zoe-Beth Brake (women's golf), a senior art major with an impressive portfolio.
"Our students are so diverse in the skills and talents they possess and sometimes their athletic talents overshadow everything," says Graham. "I feel it is my obligation to highlight the complete athlete and when we needed artwork for our study space, I thought we should first ask our student-athletes if they would share artwork for their fellow Buckeyes to enjoy."
Brake's 72x36" oil painting now greets visitors as they enter the building, while two additional student-athlete pieces are displayed in study spaces on the third floor. Senior Eugenia Falqui (women's fencing) provided a black and white photograph, and senior Sarah Peffley (rowing) contributed a large charcoal drawing.
"Art and sport have always been my two biggest passions, but I have always seen them as also two completely different worlds," says Falqui.
This photo series is one way Falqui was able to merge her interests in black & white film and fencing. She further shares inspiration for the photo in a plaque displayed underneath; each plaque bears a short biography and description of the art so peers and SASSO staff can learn more about the student-athlete and his/her work.
Peffley's work is a still life, depicting common objects such as a tire, tennis shoes, a candelabra, and a cup. Initially a self-taught artist, this piece was a final project for a beginning drawing course in fall 2015.
"I have been interested in art since I was little; however, since my main focus was a science career I did not have much time to take art classes. This resulted in me teaching myself how to draw."
Peffley is now pursuing a studio art minor in order to continue her passion alongside a major in animal sciences.
"I really enjoy drawing animals, people and landscapes," Peffley says. "I like the detail and beauty that we can find all around us every day; I always enjoy challenging myself to bring my art to life on the paper."
SASSO hopes to exhibit more student-athlete artwork once its second location in the Fawcett Center is renovated this summer.
"We take pride in recognizing & celebrating student-athletes' accomplishments & interests outside of their sport," says Brittany Savko, Program Manager for Student-Athlete Development/Life Skills. "Whether for their major or as a personal hobby, it's awesome to see student-athletes engage in creative wellness."
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