Courtesy of Cornell University Library

Examples of previous elevator artwork.

February 8, 2018

Olin Library Hosting ‘World at Cornell’ Student Art Competition For Elevator Artwork

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In Olin Library’s first ever student art competition, students will have the opportunity to have their artwork displayed on the library’s first-floor elevator doors.

Although the Olin elevators have displayed a variety of artwork in the past, this is the first time the library is hosting a competition for the artwork. Last spring, the elevators featured images selected by the library staff, including a wolf in sheep’s clothing among a flock encouraging students to “Ask a Librarian.”

The theme for this year’s contest is the “World at Cornell.”

“Bringing the world to Cornell is something the library has been doing as long as its been at Cornell,” said Melanie Lefkowitz, staff writer, editor and social media coordinator for Cornell University Library.

In addition to the honor of seeing their artwork displayed on the doors of first floor elevators of the library, the winners of the contest will receive a $100 gift card for the Cornell Store.

“We’re interested in how [the artwork] relates to the theme, and [want] it to be visually striking and thought-provoking,” Lefkowitz said.

Lefkowitz attributed the idea of getting students involved in the design process to University librarian Gerald Beasley, who hatched the idea over winter break.

“Since [the library] is a place for the students, it would be great for the students themselves to design it,” said Lefkowitz. “It’s a prime viewing space, too.”

This year’s theme was also inspired by the incoming “portal”: an immersive audio-visual experience that will connect viewers in real time with individuals from all around the world — all from inside a gold-painted shipping container.

From August to November, the portal will sit outside Olin Library in the Arts Quad for public and academic use. Others like it have been installed in several places around the world, including Afghanistan, Germany and Los Angeles.

Submissions for the “World at Cornell” art competition are due Feb. 20th, and entries have already begun to roll in. Winners will be announced on March 1st.