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The Kefi Project is taking art to unexpected places

Posted by on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 in News, Sustainability Project, Waste & Recycling.

[Originally posted by MyVU]

Can art help define our public spaces? Who gets to make this art, and does it have value beyond its aesthetic appeal?

These are questions senior Kion Sawney wanted to explore when he won a 2013 Creative Campus Innovation Grant to start a public art initiative at Vanderbilt. The result is the student-led Kefi Project, whose mission is to bring together creative individuals and challenge members of the university community to reconsider how they interact with their environment.

In Greek, the word “kefi” roughly translates to passion, spirit or joy. “We simply think it means the joy of life,” according to the group’s website.

For World Water Day, the Kefi Project teamed with Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility to install three conscience-raising works. Using more than 2,300 plastic bottles collected by the Campus Recycling Program as the medium, they created a multicolored mural in the chain-link fence surrounding the Vanderbilt power plant, constructed plastic bottle towers on Olin Lawn, and hung a chandelier made of plastic bottles in Sarratt Student Center. Each piece featured information about water conservation and recycling.

Towers constructed from recycled water bottles light up Olin Lawn at night. (photo by Bosley Jarrett) 


The Kefi Project’s ranks have grown through the academic year, with a core group of about a dozen undergraduates comprising its executive board. These students come from all schools and majors and say it takes the expertise of a diverse community to produce each work. The group regularly consults with adviser David Heustess, director of Sarratt Art Studios; faculty in the Studio Art and History of Art departments; and staff in Campus Planning and Construction, among others.

Read the full story here.

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