Camarillo, Calif., March 20, 2014 – College advice will be transformed into alluring art as “Campus Wisdom” goes on display at CSU Channel Islands’ (CI) John Spoor Broome Library during the month of April.  The multimedia, site-specific exhibition by public and social practice artist Van C. Tran, CI’s Spring 2014 Artist-in-Residence, captures words of wisdom from campus and community members in a series of vibrant graphic banners that share and celebrate the varied experiences of university life.

Tran, a San Diego-based artist and teacher, created the exhibition as a way of helping others share and navigate some of the joys and challenges that she herself faced as a first-generation college student. 

“No two people have the exact same college experience, and I hope ‘Campus Wisdom’ will capture a broad range of stories that are reflective of the writers’ voice,” she said.  “I remember the tangle of difficulties when I first attended college. It was a new experience to be away from home and it took me time to learn how to adjust to living and studying in an academic environment. To this day, I see these experiences as life lessons and try not to take them for granted.”

“Campus Wisdom” is navigated through a set of vibrant graphic banners overlooking the Reading Room in the campus library.  Each of the banners is emblazoned with a QR code, the ubiquitous computerized bar code found throughout our visually encoded literacy.  The banners’ design includes a silhouette of a familiar CI campus landmark, such as the Bell Tower, Broome Library or Santa Monica Mountains.  Visitors to the exhibit can scan the QR codes with their smartphones, connect to a link to the artist’s blog, read others’ stories, and submit their own words of wisdom about college life.

In its broadest sense, “Campus Wisdom” creates an artistic collaboration between the artist and the audience by engaging both parties in social inquiry, interaction, and creation.  Drawing from theoretical and pragmatic aspects of social sculpture, Tran acts as catalyst for participants to reveal their views (anonymously or otherwise) and become part of both the work and an online archive of shared wisdom for the college-driven.  As a central hub of learning, information and technology on campus, the John Spoor Broome Library is an ideal setting for this dynamic interactive exhibition. 

“Campus Wisdom” can be viewed from April 1 - 30 at the Broome Library.  Library hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 10:30 p.m.  The online community is maintained by the artist and accessible throughout the month of April by visiting

An artist talk/tour, free and open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to noon at the library. Limited parking is available on campus with the purchase of a $6 daily permit; follow signs to the parking permit dispensers. Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road with bus service to and from the campus.  Riders should board the CI Vista Bus to the campus; the cash-only fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at

This project is curated by CI Art program faculty member Julianne P. Gavino, with contributions made by students enrolled in her ART 332 Multicultural Art Movements course. 

For more information, contact Julianne Gavino at, visit the Broome Library’s website at, or call 805-437-8561.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.