It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was working on these 9’x5′ paintings in the Painting studio in Old Science at Bloomsburg University. But in reality, 14 years have passed since I began the first in a series of 7 paintings that would become the climax of my undergraduate work. After showing the “Johnny” series in the Multicultural Center as my senior show, Tom Kresch, Director of Residence Life, approached me and said, “Lee, we have the perfect spot for these paintings if you’re willing to part with some of them.” And I responded with, “Absolutely!”
So in 2001, Residence Life purchased 2 of them and then later that year (or next year, I forget) I donated two more for the other side of their dining facility. The height of the ceilings and the open floor plan really did provide the perfect home for these 4 paintings. But, as times change, so do designs and layouts. This summer the Scranton Commons will be undergoing renovations and it’s time for “Johnny” to move on. Thanks to BU’s transportation crew, they are now back at my house, safe and sound. It has been a true honor to have my work displayed in an area where so many people have had the opportunity to look at them and (hopefully) enjoy and ponder them. Just think, if a college dining facility gets 500 students a day eating there (I am estimating here), and there are 15 weeks in a semester, 7 days in a week, and let’s just say 2 semesters in a year. For 14 years, that means 1,470,000 students have potentially seen these paintings. And we’re not including parents who visit or university faculty and staff. I think that’s some pretty impressive numbers. So, again, Tom Kresch, Bloomsburg University, and everyone who appreciated them, THANK YOU!
UPDATED: It has been brought to my attention that there is more like 1000 students that eat there each day.