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Success though art and creativity

College uses art to inspire creative thinking

By Juana Jones
On October 11, 2018

A glass sculpture hangs from the ceiling in Cedar Hall. PHOTO BY JUANA JONES.

Wandering through Jones Hall at Kirkwood Community College, students can find “Jonesy” the Industrial Tech Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Baroque etching. Or, passing through the Linn Hall lobby, students can see a rotating globe. There is even an art gallery in Iowa Hall with rotating exhibits. In fact, every hall and every building at Kirkwood has artwork on display. 

The Arts and Humanities department works alongside students and faculty to provide art related to all subjects and majors. The reason behind this is simple. 

According to Arbe Bareis, art professor at KCC, "The art on all the Kirkwood campuses is used to facilitate learning in all the disciplines that we teach, to unleash the limitless possibilities of the imagination and encourage creative and critical thinking." 

 Studies by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) also supports this by stating, “Fostering a creative environment helps children engage in abstract and analytical thinking, sharpen their visual-spatial acuity and become more receptive to out-of-the-box thinking.” 

Students who are looking to enter the workforce after graduating from Kirkwood will need creative diversity to stand out in a field of many job applicants.  

In a survey by the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) it was stated that “of more than 1,500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, chief executives believe that -- more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision -- successfully navigating an increasingly complex world will require creativity.”  

Kirkwood encourages students to express their creativity through participation in campus clubs and organizations such as the Cedar Valley Divide, the Clay Club, the Glass Club and many others. A complete list of clubs and organizations can be found at

Additionally, Bareis said each spring Kirkwood hosts a student art show in the gallery in Iowa Hall as well as in Neilson Hall. Any student in an art class or club can participate. 

A wind clock outside Cedar Hall. PHOTO BY JUANA JONES.

Above center, the Davidson-Sauter Service Award tree in Iowa Hall. PHOTO BY JUANA JONES.

An etching by Larry Welo on display in Cedar Hall. PHOTO BY JUANA JONES.

Jonesy the industal tech T-rex is getting spooked for Halloween. PHOTO BY JUANA JONES.


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