‘Silver Lining’ Works Promote Stress-Free Campus


Xena Bunton

Senior visual art and design major, Madelyn Hill’s contribution to the installment.

Using space as an element of the class requirement, 13 art students presented their ‘Silver Lining’ work on Buskirk Field last week in hopes of promoting a stress-free environment on campus.  

Marshall University art professor, Miyuki Cook, said because the pandemic has affected her classes, she decided to have the students in her Installation Art with Fiber course to create work for an outside showing to “secure the audience” and to follow campus guidelines. 

“We are all in a kind of dark situation, mostly because of the pandemic and so many things have been cancelled,” Cook said. “In this project, I wanted students to express hope and positive thoughts in the artwork.” 

Although the course was meant to provide a silver lining, defined as a positive aspect in a negative situation, Cook said her students are “selfless” when it comes to creating their art.  

“People don’t realize that creating art is really stressful, it is fun, but it is not like a hobby,” Cook said. She said the students have to create a concept, receive approval, create art while having a budget and wait for the response of an audience.  

Benjamin Pinson, senior fine arts major, said the time during creation is similar to a therapist providing care for their clients, because the therapists are the ones “being put through the work.” 

Pinson created a ‘Lucky Cats’ installation, a collection of Japanese cats and coins made out of clay, that students and faculty can take for “good fortune and luck.” 

Pinson said the cats, ‘Fortune Cat’ or also known as ‘Maneki Neko’, are common Japanese figurines to give fortune and luck, but also wanted to include traditional Japanese coins, Ryos, to allow visitors to carry in their pockets.  

Some artists decided to remind students about what they have, instead of trying to provide pieces.  

Madelyn Hill, senior visual art and design major, created a crocheted sign made out of yarn, that spells out: “You are Loved.” 

Hill said her goal was to have students and faculty take photos of themselves in front of the display to have a “good visual reminder.” 

“The love I have received in my life is what inspired me to make a piece reminding others that they are loved too,” Hill said. 

Xena Bunton can be contacted at [email protected].