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Can Elevator Artists Combat Vandalism?

Fed up with rampant vandalism on elevator walls, staff members transformed the space into a pop-up gallery for student work.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Art department sure hopes so. Fed up with rampant vandalism in the Humanities Building elevator, the department transformed the space into a pop-up gallery featuring student work. The first Hi/Lo Gallery installation, Elevator to Eternity, re-imagines the space as "a waiting room for the afterlife."

Kelly Johannsen took the plunge as the first approved elevator artist with her piece "Elevator to Eternity," an elegantly witty step into limbo. In the eerie glow of fluorescent ceiling lights, the elevator becomes a waiting room for the afterlife with a clock face stuck on the 11th hour and a bookshelf of volumes such as "The Afterlife for Dummies" and "Climbing Your Stairway to Heaven — the Eternal Bestseller." Travelers can push the button for "Hades" (to exit the building) or "Heaven" (seventh floor, home to graduate art studios)."


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A very cool use of space to be sure, but will Hi/Lo Gallery deter vandals from embellishing with their Sharpies? Have you seen anything like this on your campus?



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