Students visiting Usdan Dining Hall will now be able to enjoy art as they eat. 

Beginning last month, a small space to the right of Louis’ Deli was designated for student and faculty art. The first installation, last month, was a photography exhibit of work created by students who participated in various University-sponsored programs abroad. Currently in the space are two historically inspired paintings by Prof. Martin Levin (POL). 

The space came about as a response to the closing of the Shapiro Campus Center Gallery, which was dismantled in order to make way for the newly created Dharmic Prayer Center. Acting Director of the Office of the Arts Ingrid Schorr told the Justice that she worked over the summer to “locate and prepare a new space for the art exhibitions” and with the sign-off of Interim Provost Irving Epstein, Schorr was able to start preparing the space. 

Schorr said she sought out Levin after seeing his work presented at a few of the biannual faculty exhibitions in the Dreitzer Gallery. 

“His use of family photographs will resonate with viewers of all generations, particularly those of us who are far from our families,” said Schorr. “I hope that people sharing the Usdan space for study, food and conversation will enjoy the company of these portraits.” 

His pieces on view, “Easter Sunday 1965” and “Coming to America 1910,” are paintings based on photographs of his wife’s family and his own, respectively. 

In January, he will show two more paintings inspired by the same themes. One will depict what he imagines his wife at age seven or eight would have looked like while walking to school. 

Since he has no photograph of his wife, however, Levin has based the painting on Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We All Live With,” which depicts Ruby Bridges breaking conventions by walking into a historically segregated school, accompanied by policemen. Levin says he came to art through attending adult-learning classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for about the last decade. 

Schorr and Levin both expressed a desire for more student submissions. 

They hope to collaborate with the Storytelling Brigade, a club currently being formed, in order to increase submissions. 

*This article has been corrected to reflect Prof. Martin Levin's (POL) correct department. An earlier version of the article stated that he was in the Sociology Department.