The UNC Studio Art Majors Association is made up of student artists who love displaying their work in Hanes Art Center. The association's art gallery in the building, though, is nothing more than a simple storage closet.
The group strives to redefine what creative expression means on campus, particularly when it comes to censorship in student art.
Senior Diego Camposeco, president of SAMA, said their storage closet is not a form of censorship by the school. Rather, the artists of SAMA decided to censor themselves.
“It’s more self-censorship than anything else,” said Camposeco, who used to work for The Daily Tar Heel as a photographer. “A lot of people self-censor — a lot of people don’t want to create controversy.”
While the space might seem bizarre, Camposeco said it's most important to create art that strays from what is expected, regardless of where it's being displayed.
“In the Hanes Art Center, artists feel that it is their space. They know their art will be valued more there,” he said.
Camposeco cited an exhibit that SAMA hosted last year in the closet space titled, “Coming In — An Art Show On Queer Aesthetics,” in which then-senior Andy Champion's sculpture titled “Devotion” featured 20 phallic wax candles and glitter.
“We had a penis altar in the show. If we put that piece in the middle of campus, it wouldn’t have the same effect,” Camposeco said.
Some students like junior Victor Foster, a member of the Undergraduate Art Association, want to see a serious reevaluation of the type of art being displayed on campus.