Durham College and UOIT students waiting in the bus area or simply walking outside will notice a giant O sculpture in the centre of the campus bus loop.
It stands tall and proud and serves as a focal point at the base of the main entrance to campus.
The O was created by Edward Falkenberg, an artist from Pickering, and has been on display at the campus for 13 years. According to Durham College’s art history page, it acts as a symbol of the connection between business, industry, government, technology and education.
It also acts as a symbol for the connection between the college and university and the cycle of life and continuous learning, according to the art history page.
The O is one of many pieces of art found throughout the campus.
There is also the medicine wheel, also located near the bus loop. The wheel teaches about life, harmony and how we are all connected, according to the art history page.
The art on the walls is student work that has been collected over the years, says Greg Murphy, dean, of the School of Media, Art and Design (MAD).
“We try to keep it in a collection, catalogue it… It’s registered with the library,” he says.
Murphy says student artwork is not limited to Durham College, there are pieces of art displayed at Oshawa City Hall.
“What we are trying to get student published and hung…what we are trying to do is make it so students can say I have artwork that’s hanging in the public eye,” says Murphy.
The school of MAD is working to get more student art on campus, says Murphy.
However, the final decision of what artwork goes up and where is made by the college’s communications and marketing department.
Carol Beam, executive director of the department, says they take a tour of the campus and see where artwork could be displayed, then they approach the MAD office to view student artwork.
What they look for in the artwork is the quality and determine a space for the piece, she says.
Their main focus is to make the school look appealing and it’s also an opportunity for students to showcase their work. The artwork is shared between Oshawa and Durham’s Whitby campus. If a piece is on display in Oshawa for a year then it will be brought to Whitby, according to Beam.
With the recent renovations and the opening of the Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE) they are looking for spaces to put more student artwork, says Beam.