Taking art outdoors — and large

In a neighborhood plagued by graffiti, Community College of Denver students painted a 100-foot mural on an alley wall by Flame Works Auto Body.

The mural shows “your art can be used in a positive way,” said Thomas Garcia, one of the art students. “I think that’s a good message.”

Obama depicted as crucified Christ

painting of President Obama in a crucifixion pose  is on display at Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery in Boston.

The painting by Michael D’Antuono is part of a larger exhibit called “Artists on the Stump – the Road to the White House 2012,” reports Fox News.

Called “Truth,”  the painting shows a crown of thorns rests on the president’shead.

Its original unveiling at New York City’s Union Square was cancelled nearly four years ago because of charges of blasphemy.

“The crucifixion of the president was meant metaphorically,” D’Antuono told Fox News. “My intent was not to compare him to Jesus.”

D’Antuono blamed the controversy on conservative media “trying to promote the idea that liberals believe the president to literally be our savior,” reports Fox News.

‘Outstanding’ prof combines writing, art

Lois Roma-Delley, who teaches writing and women’s studies at Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) in Arizona, was named the 2012 Outstanding Community College Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Roma-Deeley pairs student writers and artists, who create visual art and write about it, a process known as ekphrasis, reports Community College Times.

Roma-Deely, who has a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in poetry, designed and administers a lauded visiting writer and scholar lecture series on her campus and coordinates a popular annual creative writing competition for students.

. . . (She) was noted for her attention to students, who begin her courses with a writing exercise to assess their “learning readiness,” as well as to evaluate their mastery of skills needed to successfully complete her course. At the end of the courses, students self-evaluate their learning and set academic goals.

Also honored as state professors of the year are: John Hamman, professor and chair of the math department, Montgomery College (Maryland); Rees Shad, coordinator of media design programs, Hostos Community College (New York), Greg Sherman, physics professor, Collin College (Texas).

College museums draw donors

Community college museums can “raise the college’s profile, help attract donors, strengthen ties to the community and enhance educational programs,” writes Community College Times.

A museum at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Kansas focuses on contemporary and Native American art.

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York has a collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories, some of them hundreds of years old.

Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design presents exhibitions of notable artists and complements the college’s art galleries.

The Dinosaur Museum at Mesalands Community College in New Mexico combines fossils with artwork.

JCCC’s art museum has “brought extraordinary national and international visibility to this campus,” said Bruce Hartman, director of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. “An enormous number of people have come to campus that otherwise wouldn’t have set foot here,” Hartman said. “Some of those people have become donors or we’ve been able to otherwise engage them.”

Actor Vincent Price, known for his roles in horror films such as “The Fly,” donated 2,000 works of art to what’s now known as the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College (ELAC). Now part of ELAC’s Performing and Fine Arts Complex, VPAM’s inaugural show in the new building featured eight ELAC alumni who have become well-known artists.

Teaching immigrants English through art

New York City’s Queensborough Community College will work with museums to teach English to adult immigrants through art, reports the Times-Ledger.

Culture and Literacy through Arts for the 21st Century will be a partnership among community colleges in the CUNY system, Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum, the Rubin Museum of Art, the Katonah Museum of Art and El Museo del Barrio plus The Literacy Assistance Center and Visual Thinking Strategies.

Teachers and museum educators to work with a minimum of 50 students and their families per year.

Ohio college bans abortion pamphlets

Forbidden to hand out anti-abortion pamphlets on her community college campus, student Ethel Borel-Donohue is fighting for her First Amendment rights with the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio bans distribution of literature on campus, except by student groups with prior approval.

“The right to distribute literature about controversial topics is one of Americans’ most hallowed rights,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “If someone’s claim to be offended by speech were all it took to overrule the First Amendment, we would all be reduced to silence. Thankfully the Constitution does not recognize a ‘right not to be offended.'”

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Borel-Donohue handed out 15 flyers alleging that birth control pills and abortion may raise breast cancer risks.  She gave the flyers to classmates in a paralegal course after class had let out. One student complained of being offended; the paralegal program chair told Borel-Donohue not to hand out any materials.

FIRE also is protesting censorship of an art instructor’s painting at Gainesville State College in Georgia. Stanley Bermudez’s painting, showing torch-wielding Klansmen and a lynching superimposed on a Confederate flag, was removed from a faculty art exhibition by GSC President Martha T. Nesbitt. The “health and reputation” of the college was at stake, said Nesbitt, who said the painting’s imagery “has been perceived as aggressively hostile in other areas of the country.”