On Wednesday, the Utah State University Center for Women and Gender joined the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art to promote art and social justice while kicking off the Year of the Arts.
The event displayed pictures of prominent civil rights activists and included a button maker for participants to make buttons representing causes which are important to them.
“So when we can show artworks that are along those lines of social justice and awareness and issues, and get people talking and get people thinking about these things. I think a lot of good things come from that," said Mikey Kettinger, the mobile art truck supervisor at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art.
Marrisa Vigneault, an assistant professor of art history, said art is a way for people of all different backgrounds to come together.
“I think in this moment where so many of us have deep political concerns about what’s going on around us, that art is a way to connect us with one another and is also a way to continue conversations," she said. "Conversations that are often very difficult for us to have because they are so deeply divisive and politically motivated.”
Vigneault added that the Year of the Arts is a way for USU's Caine College of the Arts to connect with other departments on campus and show that art is everywhere.
“So I think that art is something that is always there, it’s always surrounding us, it’s one of our initial impulses as human beings is to make things and to see how that relates to other people’s ways of talking or creating or having conversations is a highlight of this year,” Vigneault said.
And although this year is dedicated to art, Vigneault hopes it doesn’t stop here.
“We’re calling this the Year of the Arts, but we don’t want this to be something that just ends after a year," she said. "That we very much belief in a continuation, that art should reach out and play an important role in everybody’s lives across campus."