Walsh College

Mixing Art with Business

Most people would not associate art with Walsh College. After all, Walsh is a business college known for its accounting and tax programs. Each day, students study T-accounts, financial ratios, and tax law. However, that does not mean that art does not have a place at Walsh.

Walsh College Art SculptureWhile it’s true the College does not teach art classes, College leadership recognizes the importance of art in creating a conducive learning environment. Studies show that art inspires creative thinking.  Even business students need inspiration!

In 2003, the College created an art endowment to raise money to purchase art for the Troy and Novi campuses. Donors saw the value, and over the years the endowment has grown to over $100,000. The interest earned on the endowment each year enables the College to make art purchases. 

Two years ago, an art committee was formed as a subcommittee of the Walsh College Foundation. A small group of art enthusiasts are charged with promoting a quality of life through creativity in business. 

In the fall of 2015, the first piece was put on display on the south side of the building. Entitled “Red Chakra,” it was created by local artist Gary Kulak, who works for Cranbrook Schools. 

In early 2016, the committee put out an RFP for a piece for the Novi campus. Local artist David Baile was selected to create and install an original piece made of steel, acrylic and LED lights.  The piece was designed to create an interactive element to the entry that is enticing to both students and faculty. It will be complete this spring.

Last summer, two pieces were commissioned by Center for Creative Studies graduate Tina LaRussa. Her brightly colored green and orange textile pieces were unveiled at the Troy campus in December. They are prominently displayed in the Frankel lobby, a common student study area, as well as outside the faculty area near the tutoring rooms. The color green is known to induce feelings of calm while the color orange inspires enthusiasm. 

Walsh College Green Textile

Walsh College Green Textile Art

In early 2017, the College purchased an original piece by local artist Alex Fedirko. The brightly colored piece entitled “Four Seasons” hangs in the student services administration area. 

Walsh College Art on Campus

More notably, each piece of art was created by a local artist. This is something the art committee and College are very proud of. Detroit is thriving with local artists, and we would have been remiss to not capitalize on local talent.

There is a bit of irony in this. One of Walsh’s biggest points of pride is that 81% of our alumni live and work in southeast Michigan. It only makes sense that we would want to promote and engage with local talent, just as we hope local businesses will hire our alumni and students.

We are just at the beginning of our journey of adding art to Walsh College. It is the College’s hope that our students, now and in future generations, will appreciate and be inspired by the art 

and the artists who created it.



1 Comment(s) so far | Skip to comment form

Dorothy Shaw on March 8, 2017 at 01:11 pm

Thank you Andrea for such a concise view of something so exciting. Art has a place on my heart, as you know, it is so important for culture to reach many.

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