By Michele Rabkin
I came to work on the UC Berkeley campus in 1999 as the first Associate Director of the Consortium for the Arts, which later became the Arts Research Center. Since it was my job to be aware of all the arts resources on campus, naturally I learned about the Graphic Arts Loan Collection. I was thrilled to be able to check out works of art and hang them in my office for an entire semester! I borrowed quite a few different pieces over the years, including “Dark Day in the Abundant Blue Light of Paris” by Mary Lovelace O’Neal (now a Professor Emeritus), who at the time was Chair of the Department of Art Practice. This print is beautiful, moody and mysterious. Looking at her artwork every day was a great reminder that many of the faculty with whom I worked regularly in an administrative capacity–sitting in meetings, trading emails, organizing panel discussions–were also practicing artists, anxious to escape the university bureaucracy and pursue their creative visions. Looking away from my computer screen and gazing at an imaginative work of art was a great way for me to refresh myself, gain some distance on the daily grind, and re-focus on the most important priorities.