Guerrieri Academic Commons arial view from front entrance.

Art in the Academic Commons

Arielle Tesoriero with her painting

One of the pleasures of being in the Guerrieri Academic Commons is seeing the art on display around the building, created by SU students. Thanks to a generous endowment provided by the Middendorf Foundation in 2007, we are able to buy art exhibited at the senior art shows each year and display the pieces around the library.


In the photographs, you will see this year’s Library Art Prize winners. In the fall, we awarded the prize to two graphic design artists. One prize went to Brian Tully, who created a series of movie posters that are now gracing the hallway by the first-floor classrooms. These colorful posters capture the spirit of their movies in a delightful way yet reflect Brian’s belief that, “Simplistic images tend to have a lasting effect on the general viewer, becoming memorable as a result.”

Joe Knaggs with his painting

Our other fall prize went to Joe Knaggs, who created a compelling tapestry with an appropriate theme for a university that is close to a beach: Endless Surf. He printed this large-scale psychedelic line-art illustration using fabric ink on polyester. Joe’s goal in design “is to create interest in a simple, yet compelling form,” and he certainly has done that with this piece.

In the spring, we were excited to be able to award the Library Art Prize to Arielle Tesoriero for her oil painting (with glitter and assorted jewels) Cult. This piece creates parallels between Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and the artist’s relationship with social media and how it affects her self-esteem and self-perception. This stunning piece sits opposite the stairs on the second floor, just outside of the Center for Student Achievement.

We are deeply grateful to the Middendorf Foundation and to our student artists for making the Guerrieri Academic Commons a better place. The Library Art Prize Committee picks the prize winners. Committee members include Caroline Eckardt, liaison librarian to the Art Department; Stephen Ford, coordinator of the Curriculum Resource Center and holder of a B.F.A.; and Bea Hardy, dean of libraries and instructional resources.