University of Richmond students are taking part in a unique learning experience called The Parking Lot Project. Through the department of art and art history class, 30 students will transform a UR parking lot into a yearlong, collaborative artwork.

Each student in the class will develop a parking space as an independent research site to raise awareness and meditate on environmental sustainability and competing land use values.

At the end of the academic year, the parking lot, located between the intramural fields and the Gottwald Science building, will be repurposed as part of the campus master plan in anticipation of a new admissions building.

“Students may create everything from community gardens to architectural sculptures,” said Erling Sjovold, associate professor of art and art history and project co-chair. “The idea of this project is to create important and lasting conversations about land use and landscape. Drivers will park between green plots and art projects rather than beside neighboring cars.”

The Parking Lot Project, sponsored in part by Dominion Resources, is one of the signature events for the 2014-15 Tucker-Boatwright Festival of Literature and the Arts.

"As part of the Parking Lot Project, we will be participating in PARK(ing) Day,” said Elizabeth Schlatter, deputy director of university museums and project co-chair. “During this worldwide event, artists, designers, and citizens transform parking spaces into temporary human-centered (instead of car-centered) spaces like public parks, DJ booths, artists' studios and galleries." 

PARK(ing) Day* will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 19.  University of Richmond Downtown, 626 E. Broad St., is also participating by transforming a parking space into art for the day. Students, faculty, staff and community members can take the shuttle between the locations.

To learn more and for a full schedule of events, visit

*Original PARK(ing) Day concept by Rebar.

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