Students Use Art to Express “A Whole Lot of Everything”

Through a poster-based installation, art and design students have been reflecting and shaping the thoughts and feelings experienced by the Bethel community during the pandemic.

By Cherie Suonvieri '15, content specialist

November 06, 2020 | 9 a.m.

A Whole Lot of Everything

The “A Whole Lot of Everything” collection can be found in Brushaber Commons. The community is invited to download and print the Design of the Week from the Wellbeing website.

While the pandemic has brought a variety of changes to the Bethel community, there have been enduring efforts to recognize the good in this season. One example can be found in a colorful art installation in the heart of Brushaber Commons (BC), adjacent to “The Egg.” The display of student-made posters, designed to reflect the feelings that have accompanied returning to campus during a pandemic, is aptly named “A Whole Lot of Everything.”

The collection has been created and curated by art and design students in partnership with the Center for Wellbeing. “We were noticing all of the COVID signage going up around campus—which is important signage, but it can also feel like a bummer when it’s everywhere you look,” says Jessica Henderson, associate professor of graphic design. “We wondered if there might be a way to make our own signage that would in some ways balance it out.” The idea for a poster-based installation soon followed.

Christine Osgood, associate professor of wellbeing and director of wellbeing initiatives, says she wanted to see Bethel’s environment be shaped by beautiful design this fall. “The environment we live in, the things we consistently see and experience, all of this influences our wellbeing for good or not,” she says. “‘A Whole Lot of Everything’ reflects and shapes our thinking about this pandemic season at Bethel.”

In addition to viewing the installation in the BC, community members are invited to download and print the poster designs to use in their own spaces like their room or office. Each week, a new design is available for download on the Wellbeing website.

“Art allows us to visualize and explore complexity and ambiguity—of which there is no shortage of right now,” Henderson says. “Each of the students who designed posters are sharing their own reflections on this experience and we hope that members of the community connect with some of these sentiments—and as a result, feel more connected with one another.”

As of now, the installation has no planned end date. Henderson says they’ll continue to feature new posters as long as they have new content to present. For the latest updates on the installation, follow @bu_awholelotofeverything on Instagram.

The designs below have been made available for downloading and printing (11x17). To view the complete “A Whole Lot of Everything” collection and preview the downloads to come, visit the Wellbeing website.

Design by Eleanor Carlson ’22

Design by Eleanor Carlson ’22

"This season brings new challenges for me to overcome: a new schedule, lifestyle, and ways of thinking about and understanding the world. Although all of these changes are stretching and exhausting, I know that ultimately each one is an opportunity for beautiful and strengthening growth."

— Eleanor Carlson ’22
Design by Toan Vo ’21

Design by Toan Vo ’21

“I feel as if in times of overwhelming uncertainty and struggle, we start to lose hope. It’s usually ideal to have interpersonal relationships face to face and not through a virtual screen, but it is what we have to live with for now. I believe we can turn to God to help us engage better with our community and build a space for meaningful connection. As hope is not lost, we can use this time together as almost a pause in life to reflect with our faith.”

— Toan Vo ’21
Design by Katie Viesselman ’20

Design by Katie Viesselman ’20

“A lot of my inspiration for this piece was tied to the current state of my home. I wanted this piece, as well as my other posters, to demonstrate the pinpricks of joy we can find if we look for them. Life can be so heavy and so damaging to one's mental health. COVID-19, racial injustice, a lost job, a political hail storm—yet things will get better. At one point or another, the storm will prevail because of our Lord Jesus.”

— Katie Viesselman ’20
Olson Art Gallery

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The Department of Art and Design offers majors and minors in art, fine art, graphic design, art therapy, and art history to help you shape the world through the media, method, and visual communication of your choosing.

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