It took a few naps, dozens of donated cupcakes, and several impromptu dance breaks, but UTC students thrived in designing for 24 straight hours in the UTC on-campus CreateAthon.
The CreateAthon on Campus was a 24-hour work-around-the-clock creative blitz focused on creating design solutions for Dalewood Middle School. The project was a collaboration between students enrolled in the Professional Practices class in the UTC Art Department, CreateHere, and the Urban League of Chattanooga, Hamilton County Schools and local businesses.
“The CreateAthon was designed to give students the tools and the opportunity to make a difference,” Matt Greenwell, UC Foundation Professor and Head of the UTC Art Department, said. “This idea that students can make a difference, that they should make a difference in their community is not just a basic truth, but a fundamental principle of UTC’s mission as an engaged, metropolitan university.”
UTC students began the project by visiting Dalewood Middle School for a pep rally and tour of the school. Upon returning to the UTC Fine Arts Center, the students designed a gallery space, display areas, and website to showcase the Dalewood students’ artwork.
“There is an energy at Dalewood that is special. It comes from the students, the staff, and the faculty, You embraced us into your family and we appreciate it,” Leslie Jensen-Inman, UTC Assistant Professor of Art, Design, and Technology and one of the organizers of the UTC CreateAthon, said.
The CreateAthon model was designed by Peyton Rowe, Associate Professor of Design and Creative Advertising at Virginia Commonwealth University, who was also on hand for the UTC event. “I was speechless throughout the day,” Rowe said. “What the students came up with as an art gallery for the students, I got goosebumps. It’s a pretty special place they’ve designed for those kids.”
“All we have to do is give students a chance to make change and you do it,” Greenwell said.