Explore Past Exhibits

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20 Seconds in Memoriam

February 17, 2022

LA-based artist Michael Rippens shares his installation “20 Seconds In Memoriam” an interpretive hand-washing station which pays homage to the hundreds of Filipino American healthcare workers who have sacrificed their lives since the start of the pandemic in the service of caring for others. Their names—hand-printed in the sink’s basin—become visible as visitors wash their hands, allowing one to spend the recommended 20 seconds reflecting on those front-line workers killed by COVID-19.

The installation is part of the 2022 Social Justice Teach In

Visitors are asked to interact with the work one at a time, and follow all posted safety guidelines and instructions – including wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance away from others.

In collaboration with: College of Liberal Arts, Ethnic Studies, OUDI, and Creative Works, Robert E. Kennedy Library.

Courtesy Michael Rippens

Courtesy Michael Rippens

Black Beyond Belonging Exhibition

February 17 – June 30, 2022

A multi-artist, multi-space exhibition illuminating the significance of Black Art as a transformative agent in academic spaces.

A contemporary exhibition of works by Black artists showcased on campus at Cal Poly’s Black Academic Excellence Center (BAEC), and the Robert E. Kennedy Library. The exhibition is a call-to-action as a response to the question posed by Black Academic Excellence Center (BAEC) Lead Coordinator Anya Booker, who asks, “How far does a Black student on this campus have to walk to see representations of themselves?” Black Beyond Belonging is an invitation for all students to appreciate and connect with the aesthetics of blackness from a creative lens.

Produced by Sēpia Collective, a Compton-based, artist-run organization that centers the stories and art of Black artists and artists of color in partnership with Black Academic Excellence Center (BAEC), Student Diversity and Belonging (SDaB) and Robert E. Kennedy Library’s Creative Works.

Artwork courtesy: Andreas Branch 

About Sēpiahttps://www.sepiacollective.com/


ANG 455 Anthro-Geo Research Design and Methods Student Poster Session Spring 2020

March 9 – 13, 2020

ANG 455 Anthropology-Geography Research Design and Methods Student Poster Session

A poster session display from ANG 455 Anthropology-Geography students. Their quarter-long research projects are related to the fields of Anthropology and Geography, and examine collected and analyzed social sciences data, compiled into a poster.


Changing the Subjects at Kennedy Library – Making Change

February 3 – 14, 2020

In November 2019, Kennedy Library invited the Cal Poly community to read through a selection of the current 41st Library of Congress Subject Headings, a “controlled vocabulary” used to catalog our library materials, and annotate the subject headings that may be dehumanizing, biased or obscure. Based upon feedback, this second iteration display hopes to shed more light on the history of the Library of Congress, its categorization system, why it is important, and how it can be changed.

This “Changing the Subjects in Kennedy Library” display is the precursor to the screening of the documentary film, “Change the Subject,” screening February 4, 2020: https://lib.calpoly.edu/events/change-the-subject

Hosted by: Creative Works, Kennedy Library


January 21 – April 19, 2020

Impact: The visual communication of information

An exhibit that focuses on the diversity of visual communication created by students, faculty, and staff across the university. Drawing from a multitude of methods in courses and activities across the campus, the exhibit displays the influences of visual communication in fields ranging from statistical data and geography, to art, design, and engineering, to performance and physics.

In collaboration with: Robert E. Kennedy Library and College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Made possible by a gift from the Austin and Gabriela Hearst Foundation

Here for a Reason – Ethnic Studies at 50

January 6 – 31, 2020

“Here for a Reason” commemorates 50 years of Ethnic Studies student activism and the program’s development. In 1968, students protested across the nation and at Cal Poly against institutionalized racism and educational inequities, leading to the establishment of the first Ethnic Studies programs. Cal Poly’s Ethnic Studies Department was created in Fall 1969 as a culmination of these students’ efforts to recruit and retain students and faculty of color and to transform the curriculum to serve the community. The department disappeared in the 1980s but, again, through student organizing and movement building, was reborn 25 years ago in 1994. The magnitude of student protests at Cal Poly in spring of 2018 reminds the university that Ethnic Studies is here for a reason: to provide a relevant education for all students.

The Faces Behind Our Food

December 2 – 6, 2019

“The Faces Behind Our Food” is a senior project which shares the images and diverse stories of those employed by the agricultural industry and bridges the gap between them and everyday consumers. Workers transform nature at each stage in the food production process, not only on farms but also in processing plants, grocery stores, restaurants, and other spaces. This project explores the careers of five people along the food production chain that play important roles in getting food from farm to table.

Changing the Subjects in Kennedy Library

November 4 – 15, 2019

Kennedy Library invites the Cal Poly community to read through the current Library of Congress Subject Headings, a “controlled vocabulary”* to catalog materials, and notice or suggest subject headings that are dehumanizing, biased, or obscure. Look through these subject headings (which determine the results from keywords that you may type into your OneSearch bar) and point out the inconsistent assumptions in how our knowledge is arranged. This “Changing the Subjects in Kennedy Library” display is the precursor to the screening of the documentary film, “Change the Subject,” coming February 2020.


Hosted by: Creative Works, Kennedy Library

Eye Candy & Mixed Nuts

November 1, 2019 – March 30, 2020

candy and nuts

Special Collections and Archives marks 50 years of collecting with “Eye Candy & Mixed Nuts,”an exhibit that spotlights absorbing subjects that are documented and expressed in a variety of forms—from original manuscripts and photographs, to publications and audio recordings. Highlights include a focused look at modernist architect Mark Mills; Julia Morgan and her role in designing Hearst Castle, which celebrates its centennial in 2020; contemporary book arts “in conversation” with rare books on printing technology and typography; cultural history in San Luis Obispo County; a first edition of Charles Darwin’s influential book on orchids and insect fertilization; records from the Cal Poly Pride Center; and a recent donation of inventive works by Joe D’Ambrosio, an engineer-turned-artist and book binder.

Día de los muertos Educational Gallery

October 28 – November 4, 2019

An informational gallery highlighting Día de los muertos / Day of the Dead, a Latinx multi-day holiday that revolves around celebrating and remembering ancestors and friends.

Swipe Out Hunger

October 11 – 25, 2019

An interactive exhibit created by campus Wellbeing, displaying innovative and proven common sense solutions to address college student hunger at Cal Poly.

yatspuktʔɨnɨsmuʔ – The Language of the Land

September 19 – October 4, 2019

The interactive exhibit locates visitors in yatspu (the land) and yaktʔɨnɨsmuʔ (the language) of yak tityu tityu yak tiłhini, Northern Chumash Tribe of San Luis Obispo County and Region.

With the tribe, Cal Poly named its new residential complex yakʔityutyu (our community) and its seven buildings after seven villages, sparking interest in the Chumash languages.

Come learn more about the language and relations of yak tityu tityu yak tiłhini, starting with these seven locations: where they are, what they mean, and how to say and write them.

LEARN MORE: Cal Poly Housing educational site on the residential community, yakʔitʸutʸu.


Masculinity and Music

May 20 – 24, 2019

Historically, music has played a significant role in any given culture’s development of gender identity. This year’s Manifest exhibit will explore music’s influence on societal and individual notions of masculinity. Our main exhibit will be held May 20th-May 24th in the University Art Gallery, with a more intimate gallery at the Kennedy Library’s first floor Community Gallery.

Limitless: The process of innovation

April 11 – June 7, 2019

The exhibit showcases the work of PROVE Lab (Prototype Vehicles Laboratory) a student-led collective that makes zero-emission vehicles to break world records.

On display will be student-designed and fabricated projects in-process including: a human-powered biomimetic submarine, a top-speed gravity-powered vehicle, and a fully-electric long-range sports car. Also on display will be “The Challenger” a landmark historical vehicle from the extreme world of Gravity Racing, on loan by racing innovator Don Baumea.

Read the news release: https://calpolynews.calpoly.edu/news_releases/2019/april/library-exhibit-limitless

Big Glue

March 19 – April 5, 2019

Big Glue is a collaboration among students and faculty from chemistry and architecture exploring the potentials of adhesives in architecture and design. The project is an inquiry into how adhesives can be more broadly used as work increases in size from small models to full-scale construction. Our team formulated, tested and applied adhesives to define parameters for their use at progressively larger scales.

Nisei Diploma Project: Stories from California Polytechnic State University

February 18 – March 18, 2019

“Nisei Diploma Project: Stories from California Polytechnic State University”

Nisei Diploma Project: Stories from California Polytechnic State University is a traveling exhibit that highlights Cal Poly Japanese American students who were unable to complete their education due to their forced relocation and internment during World War II. This exhibit focuses on the students forced to leave Cal Poly and report to “Relocation Centers” under federal Executive Order 9066.

The exhibit is in collaboration with Cal Poly’s honorary degree program, which paid tribute to the academic intentions of these students by awarding them Special Honorary Bachelor of Humane Letters degrees at a ceremony in 2010.

The presentation of the exhibit is in collaboration with a campus-wide film screening of a 2017 documentary about Japanese American internment, “And Then They Came For Us,” and Q & A with Dr. Satsuki Ina. The film and Q & A are sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the English Department, and Dr. Roberta Wolfson, Assistant Professor of English.

University Honors Program Heart Project

February 4 – 15, 2019

The University Honors Program Heart Project features canvases with hearts painted on them. The canvases were created in order to benefit Jack’s Helping Hand, a local organization. The purpose of the exhibit is to spread awareness of the Honors Program, the Heart Project, as well as Jack’s Helping Hand.

Take5 Winter Exhibit 2018

December 10 – 14, 2018

A winter-themed exhibit with original student art and hand-drawn elements and interactive prompts.

Frankenstein Poster Session

December 3 – 14, 2018

A poster session of student work celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein!

Sponsored by: College of Liberal Arts

Anthro-Geo Research Design and Methods Fall 2018 Poster Session

November 26 – 30, 2018

Anthropology-geography students will display the results of pilot research projects they’ve undertaken in a data design and research methods class.  Poster projects involve original data collection and analysis related to ecology, environment, culture and the human experience.

PILGRIM’S PROCESS: The Poetry of Michael Hannon

November 5, 2018 – April 26, 2019

Cal Poly Special Collections and Archives presents a career retrospective of the California-born, Los Osos-based poet Michael Hannon.

Spanning more than five decades, the exhibit celebrates Michael Hannon’s craft and reveals the processes of writing, rewriting, interpreting, and making that have resulted in numerous limited edition chapbooks, books, and broadsides. Generous loans from the archives of the poet and his closest collaborators enrich the exhibit, which is punctuated by poetry-infused sculpture, mail art, and altered objects.

Artwork from Pilgrim’s Process used with permission from William T. Wiley.

Ofrenda de Día de Muertos a Mary Shelley y Frankenstein

October 31 – November 5, 2018

Concept sketch for Frankenstein environment design

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, Frankenstein, an altar in the tradition of Ofrenda de Día de Muertos, will be on display from Oct 31 through Nov 5.

The altar is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Art & Design and Architecture students.

Altar and Environment Designers:

Charmaine Martinez, Associate Professor, Art & Design

Kyle Branch, ART ‘19, Graphic Design Concentration

Melanie DeLaCruz, ART ‘19, Studio Art Concentration

Victoria Herrera, ARCH ‘23

Paul “Samurai” Macias, ART ‘20, Graphic Design Concentration

Sasha Menshikova, ART ‘20, Graphic Design Concentration

Monica Shehata, ART ‘20, Graphic Design Concentration

yatspuktʔɨnɨsmuʔ – The Language of the Land

September 14 – October 21, 2018

The interactive exhibit locates visitors in yatspu (the land) and yaktʔɨnɨsmuʔ (the language) of yak tityu tityu yak tiłhini, Northern Chumash Tribe of San Luis Obispo County and Region.

With the tribe, Cal Poly named its new residential complex yakʔityutyu (our community) and its seven buildings after seven villages, sparking interest in the Chumash languages.

Come learn more about the language and relations of yak tityu tityu yak tiłhini, starting with these seven locations: where they are, what they mean, and how to say and write them.

Cal Poly Housing educational site on the residential community, yakʔitʸutʸu.


Don’t Believe the Hype: The Radical Elements of Hip Hop

April 12 – June 15, 2018

Design by: Anna Teiche (ART ’18)

Don’t Believe the Hype: The Radical Elements of Hip Hop is an exhibit showcasing the five elements of hip-hop culture: graffiti writing, breakdancing, deejaying, emceeing, and knowledge production—utilized to speak truth and justice to social ills in the United States and beyond. Collaborative and participatory — the exhibit integrates faculty and student-driven scholarship, creativity, and curation to showcase the conscious roots of hip-hop culture as an important narrative role in telling a corrective history of urban life in the face of racism, classism, and sexism.

“Don’t Believe the Hype” is the work of Dr. Jenell Navarro and Cal Poly student curators in collaboration with Kennedy Library. Student curators explored each of the elements and placed them under a campus and regional lens to showcase the conscious roots of hip-hop culture.

In collaboration with:
Robert E. Kennedy Library • Ethnic Studies Department • Architecture Department



Realizing Art of Mesa

April 9 – 20, 2018

The art exhibit titled “Realizing Art of Mesa” is an art show featuring original works by young artists from Mesa Middle School’s AVID (Advanced Via Individual Determination) program  a diverse community from Arroyo Grande, California.  The students within the age group of eleven to thirteen have produced a body of work utilizing two dimensional images on paper and digital photography.  The term “Realizing Art of Mesa” is a vehicle designed to introduce and encourage these young artists to the college environment and to embolden them to reach out and step out of their comfort zone so that they can better prepare for more collegiate endeavors to further their education.

The exhibit is hosted by Cal Poly’s Educational Talent Search (ETS) program   one of three TRiO programs under Student Academic Services. The pre-college program is designed to assist students across seven schools to pursue higher education; one of the three middle schools the program is partnered with is Mesa Middle School in Arroyo Grande. ETS provides workshops to students on topics related to the college process and partners with other programs, like AVID, for the common goal to motivate students to reach their academic goals. The goal of this project is to encourage these students to take chances with subjects like art while building their confidence. This could be one more step towards students to realize their academic goals that can easily be applied towards other disciplines that they may study. The primary goal is for these students to be exposed and attracted to the concept of going to college to attain their objectives.
The focus is having their art here at Cal Poly to accomplish that.

More info on Educational Talent Search: https://ets.calpoly.edu

Building the Cal Poly Campus

April 3 – June 29, 2018

Designed by Mariahlyn Okuna (ART, ’18)

Special Collections and Archives presents a new exhibit, “Building the Cal Poly Campus: 1902–2022”

Drawing on materials from the University Archives, the Cal Poly campus is explored as a place that has undergone transformation and expansion that has been captured in the records of administrators, staff and faculty, and students. Highlights include the first map of Cal Poly (1902), a digital map of the historic buildings of campus through time, architectural elevations for the Power House from 1909), films of campus from the 1930s – 1990s, and quirky maps of campus created by students in EDES123 in Winter Quarter 2018.


Career Services’ Failure Wall

March 12 – 23, 2018

Think you’re the only one who’s ever had an “epic failure” in your personal or academic life?  Think again!  Failing means you’re trying challenging experiences and learning.  Come visit Career Services’ Failure Wall display in the 1st floor Community Gallery at Kennedy Library.  Learn from other students’ setbacks and proudly add your own to the wall.

Sponsored by: Career Services
Career Services’ Failure Wall allows students to reflect on times they’ve failed as well as what they learned from their failures. Providing an opportunity for students to see and read about the ways others have failed allows students to see that we all mess up and not only is it normal, but it’s an essential part of learning and growing as a person.


I Am Here

February 26 – March 9, 2018

The I Am Here Gallery is based on the collaborative fashion show event that showcased multicultural, queer, and women’s fashion. It emphasizes the significance of intersectionality through representations of students from different backgrounds. The gallery display serves as an opportunity for creative expression, education, and empowerment.

Sponsored by the Cross Cultural Centers

Everything is Designed: The Invention and Evolution of Products

February 19 – 23, 2018

Poster display showing the invention and evolution of a variety of consumer products. Posters were created by students in a new GE Area F course, ME 323 Everything is Designed: The Invention and Evolution of Products.

The student posters present aesthetics, human factors, materials, technology, safety as well as social and environmental influences on design changes, presented in a timeline format.

Artivism Gallery

January 26 – February 2, 2018

A Display of art-as-activism artwork created at the 1/25/18 “Inclusion Starts With Me” Teach-In event sponsored by the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion.

Object Stories of Asian Americans on California’s Central Coast

November 30 – December 8, 2017

For this exhibit, ES 244 (Survey of Asian American Studies) students were given an artifact–a piece of Asian Americana–and tasked to tell its story. To construct this story, they researched clues that the artifact provides, including the larger historical contexts that brought the artifact into being. Each of these artifacts provides a way into understanding the legal, economic, political, and cultural forces that shaped the region and the formation of its communities, as well as the experiences of Asian Americans on the Central Coast. Asian Americana seeks to complicate our understanding of U.S. history and culture, especially of California’s Central Coast.

Anthro-Geo Research Design and Methods Fall 2017 Poster Session

November 27 – December 1, 2017

Anthropology-geography students will display the results of pilot research projects they’ve undertaken in a data design and research methods class.  Poster projects involve original data collection and analysis related to ecology, environment, culture and the human experience.

The Face of Refugees Gallery

November 27 – December 8, 2017

Photo: Sarah Racine

The Face of Refugees Gallery {The FOR Gallery}

This student-designed gallery is aimed at educating people on refugees and shining light on who refugees are, the benefits of integrating refugees into our communities, and why we should care about helping refugees.

Coordinated by:
Melissa Brown, Social Sciences Dept. (SOC ’17)
Faculty adviser:
Dr. Ryan Alaniz

Geography Week Map Gallery 2017

November 13 – 17, 2017

The Geography Week Map Gallery features maps and visualizations created by student and faculty from across campus.  Both digital and print maps will highlight the various uses of cartography and GIS in Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Natural Resources, City & Regional Planning, History, and more!

More than a Motto: 2017 Poster Session

November 2 – 8, 2017

In conjunction with the second More than a Motto: Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing conference, a gallery of posters created by faculty, staff and students will showcase illustrative examples of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing approach to academic and campus life.  Posters will feature instances of active learning in the classroom or a campus setting, student engagement in research, and students’ interactions in the field.

Dear Cal Poly

November 2 – 17, 2017

Courtesy: Cross Cultural Centers

The portraits in this exhibit capture images from Dear World’s visit to Cal Poly (Oct 23-24, 2017). Dear World is an internationally renowned storytelling organization that capture messages that reflect the stories that are behind the portraits seen in this gallery. Our goal is to spark curiosity on campus that invokes genuine conversations. Don’t assume that you know the stories of anyone featured in this gallery at first glance! True solidarity and mutual respect becomes evident when we learn more about each other and understand the narratives that inform our experiences.

Exhibit Sponsors:
This collection is sponsored by the Cross Cultural Centers and Center for Health and Wellbeing.

Expressive Self-Portraits

October 17 – 28, 2017

A display sponsored by Campus Health & Wellbeing’s PULSE program depicting  art as a powerful tool for self-representation and reflection.  The PULSE program partnered to host a drop-in workshop in which participants were encouraged to create expressive self-portraits that go beyond realistic representation.  Prompts were provided by the facilitators to help generate ideas and ease creative anxiety.  This exhibit presents some of the resulting creations.


October 12 – November 24, 2017

slipCASE is a display of second year architecture student projects exploring the manipulation of the book through literary subtractive interventions and conjoined additive operations. Projects include the introduction of the case, as a mediator between the book and the surface it sits on.

Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit

October 11 – 13, 2017

A travelling exhibit designed to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through respect for others, comfort during interactions, and awareness of disability issues.

Sponsored by the Disability Resource Center and created by Saint Louis University’s School of Education, the Ability Exhibit is a traveling exhibit designed to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through respect for others, comfort during interactions, and awareness of disability issues. Using a multi-media approach to demonstrate respect, comfort and awareness, the exhibit offers suggestions for becoming disability allies and educators.

For more info and accommodation requests:
John Lee
Disability Resource Center

Native Past of the Central California Coast

October 2 – 13, 2017

“The Native Past of the Central California Coast” is a didactic exhibit of the prehistory, and ethnography of the local San Luis Obispo area from 15,000 years ago to the present. The display summarizes findings from archaeology and combines them with input from local Native Americans. The project represents a collaboration between Cal Poly, the Cayucos Historical Society, and local Chumash. It presents in brief format an up-to-date summary of local archaeology and history that is not currently available in any one academic or publicly available source. The goal of the project is to provide accurate information on the deep indigenous past of the local area. This is a record that few people are aware of.


75 Years: Remembering Japanese American Incarceration During World War II

February 17 – June 9, 2017

Special Collections and Archives presents a new exhibit, “75 Years: Remembering Japanese American Incarceration During World War II”.

Roy, Honey and Akira Toda. Manzanar, Sept. 1942.

Through photographs, letters, oral histories, and more, the exhibit highlights collections from Cal Poly and across the CSU system that have been digitized as part of the NPS- and NEH-funded CSU Japanese American Digitization Project. The exhibit also marks the 75th anniversary of the executive order authorizing the forced removal of over 120,000 Japanese American citizens and immigrants from their homes to incarceration camps in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. The anniversary or Day of Remembrance takes place on Sunday, February 19.

Between the Bars

April 6 – June 9, 2017

“Between the Bars” is a senior project exhibition, in collaboration with Cal Poly Sociology Professor Dr. Unique Shaw-Smith. Featuring artwork produced by incarcerated artists, the goal is to undo negative stereotypes and to empower the rehabilitation of incarcerated artists individually and collectively through art. The exhibit demonstrates that rehabilitation does occur in prison and emphasizes that art has the power to transcend all social differences and divisions.

Artwork by incarcerated artists from the California Men’s Colony.

The exhibit features more than 60 works in diverse mediums including sculpture, painting, and poetry by 34 incarcerated artists from California Men’s Colony.

Read the news releaseCal Poly Kennedy Library to Display ‘Between the Bars’ Art Exhibit April 6-June 9

The exhibit is in collaboration with:
Cal Poly Sociology Department, Robert E. Kennedy Library, California Men’s Colony, and Cuesta College

Passage to Paso – Paso a Paso

May 22 – June 2, 2017

Passage to Paso | Paso a Paso is a narrative photography exhibit featuring forty five students across two classes at Paso Robles High School, CA. The exhibit showcases stories and large format photographs of persons who have migrated to Paso Robles from other countries. Participants, ranging in age from 15 through 57, shared their experiences immigrating from Mexico, Thailand, China, Brazil, the Philippines, Nigeria, El Salvador, and Vietnam.

The March for a Better Science

May 23 – 30, 2017

Flickr Creative Commons, Becker1999

“The March for a Better Science” is a student-organized project centering on the implications and effects of protest signs during April’s worldwide marches supporting science. The exhibit highlights negative and positive implications from several protest signs, along with an explanation of the culture that exists within the scientific community. All of us have different biases and backgrounds that affect our work, and science is no different. Protest signs are a tangible way to help us understand the culture of science and the problems, such as uninhabited objectivity, that this culture can create.

Coordinated by ISLA 456 students with Dr. Jane Lehr.

Exhibit: Drop-In Collage Workshop

May 15 – 19, 2017

The Unreal World: Art from the Drop-In Collage Workshop” features collage works created in the library during a free, drop-in workshop comprised of Cal Poly students, faculty and staff. As a concept, collage can be found everywhere today, from hip-hop mixtapes to fashion design to architecture, and the medium draws out complicated issues surrounding creativity such as the ethical and legal divisions between inspiration and theft.

The Drop-In Collage Workshop was jointly coordinated and hosted by Architecture Professor Jen Shields, Architecture & Environmental Design Librarian Jesse Vestermark, and Architecture 2nd-year student Elijah Williams.

The Peace Project

April 3 – May 8, 2017

In collaboration with Cal Poly Arts, ASI, and local community members, a display of encaustic works by artist David Settino Scott will be exhibited in support of Cal Poly Arts’ presentation of a week-long residency, entitled “Mystical Arts of Tibet”, by Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery. The Monks will be on campus sharing visual and performance experiences that are informative and educational and reflect the diversity of the university’s curriculum.

National Library Week 2017

April 10 – 14, 2017

National Library Week is the perfect opportunity to encourage community to tell their stories and share their love for the library.

We display our highlights and transformations at Kennedy Library. Theme for 2017 is “Libraries Transform”.

Anthro-Geo Research Design and Methods Winter 2017 Poster Session

March 13 – 17, 2017

Students will display and highlight work they have been conducting throughout the quarter on research projects undertaken in their ANG 455 class. Projects involve original research and data analysis related to ecology, environment, culture and the human experience.

Water Links Active Reflections

March 6 – 10, 2017

The Water Links series is a collection of art installations displaying video diaries from communities around the world. It encourages self-directed participation and offers visitors an opportunity to capture their thoughts and stories related to critical topics on water. The artwork is intended to extend relational aesthetic practices to the community and encourage creative expression through participatory art events. This type of interactive installation helps reveal how communities engage with this important subject and these technologies. The installation includes individual hand-made hanging artworks created by Ava Paterson Werner (an American painter and mixed-media artist). These pieces represent local histories and topics about water in the three regions exhibited in this installation.

Remembrance to Action: Lessons from the wartime internment of Japanese Americans

February 4 – 17, 2017

Tamura’s and Aratani’s at Gila River Relocation Center. Courtesy: The Re/Collecting Project

February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, authorizing the U.S. military to forcibly remove and incarcerate 120,000 Japanese Americans based on their ancestry.

To commemorate the anniversary, a trio of linked programs are planned including an exhibition, teach-in, and closing ceremony honoring the anniversary of Executive Order 9066. The program titled, Remembrance to Action: Lessons from the wartime internment of Japanese Americans shares the stories from traveling exhibitions of Japanese Americans on the Central Coast including Cal Poly students whose education was forcibly interrupted as a result of their internment. Screening alongside the exhibitions will be a documentary short featuring Susy Eto Bauman from the film Lives Well Lived directed by Sky Bergman, and a participatory Shinto wishing wall.

Unite Cal Poly Pledge Tree

February 3 – 17, 2017

A collaborative display by individuals participating in ”Unite Cal Poly” who pledge to continue working toward diversity and inclusivity on our campus and in their lives.

Sponsored by OUDI and CLA

Anthro-Geo Research Design and Methods Poster Session

December 5 – 9, 2016

Students will display and highlight work they have been conducting throughout the quarter on research projects undertaken in their ANG 455 class. Projects involve original research and data analysis related to ecology, environment, culture and the human experience.

Art and Incarceration Gallery

November 28 – December 2, 2016

A gallery exhibit organized by Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration class 210. It gives awareness to the restorative justice program through artwork done by women in the San Luis Obispo Country Jail.

Geography Week Map Gallery 2016

November 14 – 18, 2016

The Kennedy Library 1st floor Community Gallery will feature maps from student and faculty from across campus.

Both a digital display and print maps will represent different applications of GIS from Engineering, Natural Resources, and Planning, History, Landscape Architecture and more!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Art Gallery

October 17 – 21, 2016

The purpose of this art show is to highlight the issue of domestic violence as experienced by survivors and spread awareness about the prevalence of the issue through an artistic medium. The art and stories give students the chance to connect to the issue emotionally and hopefully gain a new perspective about the “hows, whys, and whats” of domestic violence.

Reading the Headlines

October 14, 2016 – February 17, 2017

Exhibit in Special Collections, 4th floor

100 Years of Delivering the News

October 14 – December 9, 2016

100 Years of Delivering the News offers a journey through the past century as seen through student eyes. Student-led research in the university archives, stories of distinguished Cal Poly alumni, photographs, and media innovation come together in this collaborative exhibit celebrating the centennial anniversary of Mustang News.

1917 student staff from Cal Poly’s earliest newspaper, The Polygram. Courtesy of University Archives.

Sponsored by: Robert E. Kennedy Library and the Journalism Department.

See the companion exhibit: Reading the Headlines in Special Collections, 4th floor.

Architectural Thesis Model Show

June 15 – December 1, 2016

This exhibition highlights the exceptional architectural models and prototypes produced by students of the Cal Poly College of Architecture and Environmental Design’s Architecture Department. The collection of 35 architectural models and furniture pieces demonstrates the broad range of architectural concerns and techniques explored by Cal Poly’s architecture students—from innovative solutions to pressing problems to speculative investigations of new formal and spatial possibilities. In addition, this exhibition showcases the high level of craft, attention to detail, and commitment to physical testing and experimentation that is the hallmark of the Architecture Department’s nationally recognized program—one that is consistently ranked as one of the top undergraduate architecture programs in the nation.


# I Am Cal Poly 2016

June 24 – September 9, 2016

# I Am Cal Poly 2016 is an extension of the 2015 campaign and exhibit. This year’s campaign invites both students and faculty/staff participants to share their voices.

Honors Program Senior Showcase

May 23 – 27, 2016

Honors seniors present their senior projects through an informative poster session.

Honors seniors will present their senior projects in Kennedy Library’s Community gallery. Honors Program students represent approximately 50 different majors on campus. The Honors Program requirement for the students senior project is share their senior project with the campus community, peers and family.

LGBTQIAP History Exhibit

April 18 – 29, 2016

(Photo courtesy of History UnErased)

In partnership with Dr. Jennifer Lewis & Ant 425, the Pride Center, Cross Cultural Centers, and Dean of Students Office, the OneArchives traveling exhibit is an educational viewpoint, providing documentation of some major milestones in LGBTQIAP rights. LGBTQIAP people and communities have made meaningful contributions to US History, and these historical documents will be valuable for all students to look at a Proud history of striving for equality and equity for diverse gender and sexual identities.

Out of the Box: Undergraduate Research in the University Archives

April 13 – July 8, 2016

Out of the Box: Undergraduate Research in the University Archives features the voices of first-year History students who in a “Learn-by-Doing” style researched Cal Poly history in HIST100: Intro to History.

To accompany the student voices, the exhibit will include a curated selection of primary sources from University Archives that students used in their research of the history of the period of the world wars at Cal Poly.

The Living Library

April 12 – June 3, 2016

Image design by: Habib Placencia (Art & Design ‘17) and Kevin Church (ARCE ’17)

“The Living Library” exhibit showcases Cal Poly’s united efforts towards sustainability and resilience, through practices ranging from art, architecture, and agriculture, to engineering, public policy, and community service.

The natural world is brought inside Kennedy Library through an eco-lawn, a living wall, and green space designed by the Cal Poly Horticulture Club. Paired with the exhibit’s centerpiece – a sculptural interpretation of the iconic Cal Poly Mustang made of reclaimed materials – the green interior environment showcases the many facets of sustainability.

Nationally acclaimed artist and Cal Poly alumnus Ivan McLean collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of Architectural Engineering students led by Professor Craig Baltimore to create the reclaimed mustang. The piece honors Cal Poly’s 2016 Open House theme, “Celebrating the Mustang Legacy.”

The exhibit is in collaboration with: Architectural Engineering; Energy, Utilities and Sustainability; and Cal Poly Horticulture Club.

Faces Eraced Reclaiming Latinx Identities

March 7 – 18, 2016

A collaborative community exhibit produced by members of Cal Poly’s Latinx community exploring self-reflection and identity exploration through the creation of identity masks. What intersections make up your identity? How are you perceived by the Cal Poly community?

This exhibit is part of Dr. Gilda Ochoa’s ES 340 cultural production of ethnicity class, and is an artistic representation of the diversity of Latinx identities on campus and their experiences on campus.

Rooted in Our History: The Trees of Cal Poly

January 15 – April 11, 2016

Exhibit in Special Collections and Archives on the 4th Floor, room 409.

KNEX Sears Tower Replica

December 4 – 7, 2015

The KNEX Sears Tower display is a replica of a famous architectural feat in Chicago, USA. The focus is to allow Cal Poly students to more thoroughly understand the structural implications of the building. Built by ARCE306 students for display in the library’s atrium.

Port San Luis Pier

December 3, 2015 – February 29, 2016

Teams comprised of 270 first-year ARCH and ARCE majors in ARCH131 will be exhibiting a project titled, “Port San Luis Pier” in the newly renovated 3rd floor reading lounge. The display will include components from their shared pier model. The Port San Luis Pier project will be on view through February 2016.

Anthropology and Geography Poster Session

November 30 – December 4, 2015

Anthropology and Geography Research Design and Methods Poster Session. A visual presentation of original research by seniors in the Anthropology and Geography major. Students are showcasing their quarter long efforts on how to design and gather data relevant to their fields and then how to display this in a visual way to other academics.

Geography Awareness Week Map Gallery

November 16 – 20, 2015

The GIS map gallery features maps from student and faculty who use geography and GIS in a variety of disciplines. Map prints in a variety of subjects, themes, and styles represent different applications of GIS and spatial analysis in areas of Engineering, Biology, Natural Resources, and Planning, History, Landscape Architecture and others.

Disaster by Drought Awareness Gallery

October 5 – 16, 2015

Cal Poly and United Nations University Resilience Summit: Disaster by Drought aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers, and scholars to exchange, learn, and create effective resilience strategies in all aspects of agriculture, biology, sociology, economics, and environment to mitigate the worse drought California has experienced in over 1,200 years.

EXHIBIT: An awareness gallery including student photographs, posters, and scholarship to support drought resilience.

Next Stop: San Luis Obispo – The Arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad

September 21 – December 17, 2015

This special Southern Pacific Railroad exhibit, curated by Jenny Freilach (HIST ’16), explores the history of the railroad in San Luis Obispo County. Featured in the exhibit are original documents from the Jack Family Papers, the Ah Louis Family Papers, and other collections found in Special Collections and Archives.

Explore our mobile-friendly SLO Railroad District Walking Tour.  The exhibit is part of the Central Coast Railroad Festival, Oct. 1-4, 2015.

Tim’s Vermeer

September 14 – October 3, 2015

In his warehouse in San Antonio, Texas, Tim Jenison plays the viola de gamba he used to furnish his Vermeer room. Photo by Natalie Jenison, © Tim Jenison, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Tim Jenison Close-Up: Inventor Tim Jenison attempted to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer (“Girl with a Pearl Earring”) manage to paint so photo-realistically—150 years before the invention of photography? SEE the exhibit of his process work, WATCH the documentary film, and HEAR from Tim Jenison himself on his epic research project to test his theory and the results of his extraordinary discoveries.

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT: Tim’s Vermeer: Tim Jenison Close-Up is an exhibition of Mr. Jenison’s process work on display at Kennedy Library, September 14 – Oct 3rd.

See photographs from the various roles Tim Jenison undertook throughout his attempt to solve one of art’s biggest mysteries. Interactively, the exhibit will ask the viewers to consider what they are really seeing in the photographs, and allow them to leave their thoughts and impressions on the walls of the exhibit space adjacent to the photos and discover more with the aid of mirrors manipulated by the viewer.

“Glitched Girl with Pearl Earring” from the exhibit “Tim Jenison Close-up” Courtesy Kennedy Library, design by Chris Taylor

The exhibit will also include a one-day only display of Jenison’s recently completed painting, which was modeled after Vermeer’s “Girl with the Pearl Earring” titled: “Claire with a Pearl Earring” on Wednesday September 30th from 10AM to 4PM.

PRESENTED BY AND IN COLLABORATION WITH Scenic design professor Pegi Marshall, Theatre & Dance Department, and College of Liberal Arts.

SPONSORS AND COLLABORATORS: College of Liberal Arts, Theatre & Dance Department, Robert E. Kennedy Library, Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies Program (LAES), Graphic Communication Department (GrC), Cal Poly Center for Expressive Technologies (CET), and the Computer Science Department.


Artifact|Stories Exhibit

June 1 – 5, 2015

Artifact|Stories exhibit, featuring the stories of Asian Americans on CA’s Central Coast

Dr. Grace Yeh’s students ES 244, Survey of Asian American Studies, examines the experiences and contributions of peoples of Asian ancestry in the United States. For this exhibit, ES 244 students are assigned an artifact from the Central Coast that provides a window to the lives of Asian Americans in the region. They are tasked to tell the story behind the artifact after researching clues the artifact provides and with an understanding of the larger historical contexts that brought the artifact into being.

More than a Motto Poster Exhibit

May 18 – 29, 2015

Poster session featuring displays for More than a Motto: Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing conference.

The conference is dedicated to highlighting, celebrating and enhancing the Learn by Doing experience that guides the Cal Poly community both in and outside of the classroom. The project will culminate in the publication of More than a Motto: The Meaning Behind Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing Signature, a book featuring case studies from across the university and beyond through engagement with students, faculty, staff, alumni and industry partners.

University House Redux Exhibit

May 4 – 15, 2015

Landscape Architecture display by students from professor Ellen Burke’s class. Educates visitors about sustainable campus design re-envisioning the University House, featuring student work.

“I Am Cal Poly” Exhibit

April 17 – September 4, 2015

# I Am Cal Poly: Campus Stories About Identity

# I Am Cal Poly is a Cal Poly MultiCultural Center campaign and Kennedy Library exhibit in partnership with Dr. Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti, which engages the campus in conversations about the meaning of unique and intersecting identities through a collection of photos and personal narratives.

Download the Poster

The exhibit brings together the photos of students across campus and the personal statements and stories behind them. Student photographers captured the portraits of storytellers juxtaposed with their responses to “I am Cal Poly.”  By providing a platform for these stories to be shared, the # I Am Cal Poly campaign and exhibit offers a visual and first-hand account of student perspectives on cultural identity and the importance of the campus coming together to embrace the evolving diversity on campus.

# I Am Cal Poly is inspired by artist and UCSB faculty Kip Fulbeck, and is accompanied by portions of his multiracial identity project, a traveling exhibit called kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa.

Traveling Exhibit “kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa”

April 17 – June 5, 2015

Courtesy Kip Fulbeck

Artist and UCSB faculty Kip Fulbeck will be exhibiting his multiracial identity project, a traveling exhibit called kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa. Fulbeck’s exhibit is in conjunction with the library’s spring exhibit #I Am Cal Poly.

Lives Well Lived Photography Exhibit

April 6 – 24, 2015

What is a Life Well Lived? Art & Design professor Sky Bergman asked this question of some amazing women and men aged 75-100, and got some incredible answers. All are captured in the soon-to-be-finished documentary film, Lives Well Lived and now an exhibit at Kennedy Library. You will be inspired by wisdom and wit of those featured in the exhibit.

Women on Walls: Women who inspire Cal Poly

March 9 – 13, 2015

A display to celebrate Women’s History Month organized the the Gender Equity Center. “Woman on Walls: Woman who inspire Cal Poly” is about leaders who dedicate their lives to female empowerment and have been an inspiration.

Exhibit: Elevated Foundation

October 24 – December 1, 2014

Last summer, students in Landscape Architecture Professor Omar Faruque’s LA 402 and LA 436 classes imagined the future of Cal Poly’s academic commons. Their designs interpret and support the goals of an academic commons: nurturing intersections between the disciplines and providing gathering spaces that connect faculty and students.


Objects of Affection

May 12 – June 15, 2014

Objects of AffectionAbout the Exhibit: The “Objects of Affection” exhibit draws upon the personal papers of families featured in the Re/Collecting Project, an online archive and ethnic studies memory project featuring  families of California’s Central Coast, and directed by Grace Yeh, associate professor of ethnic studies at Cal Poly. Through stories, photographs, letters, songs, and performances, “Objects of Affection” explores the intimate lives of those within our diverse community. The exhibit shows the powerful ways people can forge rich community bonds and friendships in response to social and legal exclusion.

In Collaboration with: Ethnic Studies Department, Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program (LAES), MultiCultural Center, Filipino American National Historical Society, California Central Coast Chapter (FANHS CCCC).

Download the Objects of Affection Poster

Related Links: The Re/Collecting Project (Re/Co for short) is an online archive and ethnic studies memory project of California’s Central Coast directed by Grace Yeh, associate professor of Ethnic Studies. For more information about the Re/Co project, please visit http://reco.calpoly.edu/. The exhibit features Dr. Grace Yeh’s “Filipino Love Stories” exhibit, a project made possible with support from Cal Humanities, a partner of the NEH.

Cal Poly International Photography Competition Winners

April 7 – 14, 2014

Community Display: The photography competition highlights the research, teaching, and travel abroad experiences of Cal Poly’s faculty & staff. The International Center supports international education by highlighting our faculty and staff experiences abroad.

Sponsored by: Cal Poly International Center

Thrice Told Tales Exhibit

December 4, 2013

LAES_ThriceToldTalesDisplayYou are invited to visit the 1st floor Community Gallery to view LAES (Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program) student projects on display. Students are seeking community participation in their analysis of the projects.

The student projects are responding to the prompt: How do different technologies of communication and connection afford and shape the stories we can make, build, tell, share, and learn about the diverse yet under-documented communities of color on the central coast of California?

Presented by:
LAES 301/302 students and
Dr. Michael Haungs
Dr. Jane Lehr
Dr. Grace Yeh

In collaboration with:
Kennedy Library Exhibits Program


Links to the Land: Ranching the Central Coast

July 17 – 28, 2013

The exhibit “Links to the Land: Ranching the Central Coast” will be featured at the California Mid-State Fair July 17 – July 28. Experience the exhibit at the fair’s Mission Square.

The exhibit draws from a wealth of material held by Special Collections and University Archives. The links to the county’s agricultural heritage are revealed through these records and are essential to the documentation of the day-to-day life of farmers, ranchers, laborers, and Cal Poly’s century of agricultural instructional influence. From these historic records, scholars are able to piece together agricultural life on the Central Coast.

Harvesting our County’s Agricultural History: through oral histories and an array of illustrations and historic documents, the exhibit brings to life the culture of ranching and farming in San Luis Obispo County, highlighting the ecological stewardship of the land and examines the modern day impact of our local farmers’ markets. The exhibit is immeasurably enriched by the insights recorded in oral histories conducted with local farmers, market goers, and organizers.

Atelier Morgan: The Personal Archives of Architect Julia Morgan

November 9, 2012 – January 11, 2013

Julia Morgan Studio Portrait, Paris, c. 1900 | MS0010 Julia Morgan Papers, Special Collections and Archives

Inspiring design: the exhibit, which is designed to travel to other libraries and galleries, presents visual representations of Morgan’s craft and design aesthetic. It will be shown alongside Cal Poly architecture student work inspired by her design principles.

Featured in the exhibit will be reproductions of Morgan’s student work at the École de Beaux-Arts in Paris, William Randolph Hearst commissions, civic work with YWCAs and residential commissions. It will also showcase her beautiful work in gouache and pastel on paper.


Pressing Forward: The Book Club of California at 100

April 5 – June 8, 2012

A partnership with the Book Club of California, the traveling exhibition showcases fine press books, keepsakes, and ephemera published by the Book Club of California, and includes selections from Kennedy Library’s Special Collections Fine Print and Graphic Arts Collection.

BCC Centennial Keepsake by Bryn Hobson

“Centennial Keepsake” designed by Bryn Hobson
Courtesy Special Collections

Community collections: In addition to Book Club of California publications, the exhibit includes photographs of club members with their personal libraries, including local Central Coast club members, and Mrs. Katherine Westheimer, who is the longest-standing club member in California.

The exhibit will also feature winners of Kennedy Library’s Book Collection Competition, which was open to the Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo communities and held as part of the centennial celebration. Photographs of the winning local collections are included in the exhibit along with student work from Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department, and “Flight,” an installation by Bryn Hobson, a Cal Poly Department of Art and Design student.

Download the e-card (700KB) (PDF)

Joe Schwartz photography exhibit documents virtues of diversity

February 27 – June 29, 2012

Kennedy Library announces an exhibit of Joe Schwartz’s photography. The images are on display in Special Collections and Archives on the fourth floor.

The twenty prints were exhibited at the Cal Poly colloquium “Celebrating Diversity” at the Performing Arts Center on February 6, 2012. The colloquium included a presentation honoring Schwartz, a local 98-year-old folk photographer, for his lifetime of work documenting the virtues of diversity.

“Schwartz’s photographs help us to see ourselves in each other,” said University Librarian Anna Gold. “We are proud to be able to share these images with the San Luis Obispo community through the generosity of Joe Schwartz and his family.”

Folk photography: Joe Schwartz, born in 1913 in Brooklyn, is the author of Folk Photography: Poems I’ve Never Written (2000). His photographs documenting the have-nots of the U.S. between 1930 and 1980 will be part of a permanent exhibit at the new Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African History and Culture

Assembly Required

November 7, 2011 – January 6, 2012

Reclaimed books chair, Courtesy Kennedy Library.

Assembly Required highlights the craftsmanship and innovation of Cal Poly student furniture artists. The winners from the 2011 Vellum/College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) Furniture Competition and Exhibition are a central feature of the exhibit. Curated by co-organizer and Associate Professor Tom di Santo from the architecture department, the custom-designed pieces fabricated by the CAED students combine elegant craft with a reverence for sustainable design.

Booked Furniture: The exhibit also includes pieces made from recycled books. Professor Tom Fowler (CAED) challenged his third-year studio design students to design and build furniture using books in a four-day period from start to finish. The result is a collection of inspired furniture that celebrates repurposed materials.

Download the Exhibit eCard (PDF).


Look the Other Way

April 14 – June 3, 2011

A photography exhibit using student-engineered images, sounds and textual documents which draw from University Archives materials. The exhibition explores the history of spirit photography through the re-envisioning of history — straining credibility and provoking a rich array of interpretations from viewers.

Two Men at a Desk.

Women standing at a table.

Look the Other Way Poster

Download the exhibit poster

Sponsors & Collaborators: Sponsored by Library Services, the Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program (LAES), and the College of Liberal Arts. In collaboration with the Cal Poly Department of Architecture and the Theatre and Dance Department.

Image Credits

  • Animated gifs engineered by Jessica Wong, Computer Science student
  • Ghosted images designed by Anieca Ayler, Journalism student and Joyce Ting, Art & Design student
  • Original archival images courtesy of University Archives, Kennedy Library

Celebrating Black History Month: Where We Stand

February 14 – March 3, 2011

Where We Stand draws from Mustang Daily articles, student club documents, and oral accounts to construct a brief history of African American advocacy on the Cal Poly campus from the Civil Rights Movement to the present day.

Taiwan Plugging into the World

November 18 – December 2, 2010

Download the exhibit poster.

The collection of photos attests to Taiwan’s transformation from an agrarian past into a high-technology nation at present. Through images, the exhibition introduces digital life in Taiwan and their goal of becoming a “knowledge-based economy.” By viewing these photos, spectators may gain a better understanding of Taiwan, one of Asia’s most advanced e-economies.

Sponsors: The Asian Studies Minor Program, Cal Poly and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Los Angeles.

Nisei Diploma Project

June 8 – July 5, 2010

Image courtesy of University Archives

Kennedy Library is presenting an exhibition highlighting Cal Poly Japanese American students who were unable to complete their education due to their forced relocation and internment during World War II.

The exhibit “Nisei Diploma Project: Stories from California Polytechnic State University” focuses on the alumni forced to leave Cal Poly and report to “Relocation Centers” under federal Executive Order 9066. The exhibit is being presented in collaboration with Cal Poly’s honorary degree program, which pays tribute to the academic intentions of these students by awarding them Special Honorary Bachelor of Humane Letters degrees.


reKINETIC: An Exhibition Exploring Kinetic Themes in Architecture and Art 

April 15 – June 6, 2010

reKinetic is a group installation featuring Cal Poly students, faculty, and community members with works incorporating reclaimed materials. The result is a dynamic exhibition of innovative installations and sculptures, which respond to their environment either by human interaction, internal mechanism, or natural elements.

Sponsors: Library Services and the Cal Poly Architecture Department

Kinetic student video, Skate Wheel in Venice by Alexander Silva

Cal Poly news release

Exhibit eCard (PDF)

Alexander K. Silva Art & Design Student, Cal Poly

Cal Poly Expressionist Club
“To change how art of all types is viewed in the public eye, as well as provide opportunities for aspiring artists to showcase their work, and to create a supportive artistic community.”

Snapshots of Equality

February 1 – 28, 2010

NAACP 40th Annual Convention Opening session, Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles, 12 July 1949.
Image courtesy of Special Collections, Kennedy Library
Download the exhibit poster

A photographic exhibition in honor of Black History Month, the Cal Poly Kennedy Library is presenting the photographic exhibition “Snapshots of Equality.” The exhibition features snapshots from the 1949 NAACP National Convention in Los Angeles as well as highlights from the personal papers of Alice Martin, a civic-minded woman known for her community service to nonprofit organizations on the Central Coast.

Learn more about these collections: Images featured in the exhibition are just two of many collections housed in Special Collections. The NAACP and Alice Martin collections are open for research. You can learn more about these two collections in the links below.

The Migrant Project

October 1 – November 30, 2009

Image Credit: Rick Nahmias

Image Credit: Rick Nahmias

A bilingual traveling exhibition to promote diversity awareness and education. The Migrant Project is an in-depth photojournalistic portrait and recently published book detailing the lives and struggles of today’s California migrant farm workers, which numbers more than one million. Photography and text by Rick Nahmias.

Image Credit: Rick Nahmias

Image Credit: Rick Nahmias

Sponsors: Cal Poly’s CLA Social Sciences and CAFES Agribusiness departments; California Rural Legal Assistance; Center for Latino Policy Research, UC Berkeley; and The Kurz Family Foundation.

Learn more:


Strive and Struggle: Documenting the Civil Rights Movement at Cal Poly, 1967–1975

February 2 – March 1, 2009

Presented through the pages of The Mustang Daily, Strive and Struggle explores campus reactions, struggles and triumphs during the Civil Rights years, and the efforts to establish ethnic studies courses, recruit black faculty and combat racial prejudice on campus.

Image courtesy of University Archives

Images featured in the exhibition are from many collections housed in University Archives and available to the Cal Poly community.

Mars Within Reach: Arctic Melodies and Science from the Red Planet

November 7, 2008 – January 12, 2009

Artist’s concept drawings of Mars Odyssey, Rover, and Phoenix Lander Missions, confirming evidence of past liquid water and current water ice on Mars.
Image Credit: JPL/NASA Phoenix Mars Lander Mission at the University of Arizona

Mars Within Reach is an interdisciplinary exhibition that will allow visitors to touch, hear, and interact with data from several recent Mars missions. The exhibition blends planetary science, engineering, and music to demonstrate scholarship related to the exploration of the Martian Arctic, with special attention to making the content accessible to persons with visual impairments.


ChismeArte, ¡Y Que!: Expanding L.A.’s Chicano Aesthetic

April 17 – June 16, 2008

Chismearte Logo

How a magazine of hybrid, radical street art, barrio iconography, and avant-garde literature questioned, expanded, and experimented with the possibilities of Chicano urban identity.

The exhibition highlights a moment in the careers of a cadre of Chicano authors and artists who would later receive critical acclaim for representing and re-defining L.A.’s Latino experience.

Artists and Authors

The Artists

  • Carlos Almaraz
  • Barbara Carrasco
  • Harry Gamboa Jr
  • Ester Hernandez
  • Leo Limon
  • John Valadez
The Authors

  • Miguel Angel Asturias
  • Marisela Norte
  • Victor Valle
  • Luis Rodriguez
  • Alma Villanueva
  • Helen Viramontes


ChismeArte is sponsored by and presented in collaboration with Kennedy Library, the Ethnic Studies Department and the Chicana Latino Faculty Staff Association (CLFSA).

Photo Exhibit in Honor of César Chávez

March 19 – April 6, 2008

“Viva la Causa! A Decade of Farm Labor Organizing on the Central Coast” commemorates the struggles and triumphs of early local farm laborers.

In Memory: Robert E. Kennedy

An online tribute to Robert E. Kennedy. From college professor to librarian to public relations director to university president to president emeritus, Dr. Kennedy served Cal Poly for 70 years.


Con Nuestros Propios Ojos / With Our Own Eyes Documentary Photography Project

May 23 – June 30, 2007

Cal Poly Photo Exhibit Documents Immigrant Youth Living on Central Coast. A powerful documentary photography exhibit that illustrates immigrant youngsters living on the Central Coast.



Designing Interactive Systems for Learning Environments

April 10 – May 13, 2006

Interactive Systems LearningStudents in Franz Kurfess’s Computer Science and Computer Engineering class set out to create interactive systems for the Learning Commons based on user needs. As the students explored interactive system design, they developed story boards that illustrated users’ tasks and activities. By collecting user data, students developed prototypes that demonstrated the main features of their designs.

Professor Franz J. Kurfess
User-Centered Interface Design and Development
CPE/CSC 484 Winter 2006

Cal Poly news release


The Peace Library

November 4 – December 5, 2003

The Peace Library PosterComprised of the work of local artists, community members, and artists across California and beyond- the purpose is to provide a venue for dialogue at the same time illustrating the passionate issues of war and peace throughout history. Additional books will be added to the exhibition as it travels as a reflection of the community it is visiting.

Committee Statement: The Peace Library is a forum for a community dialogue about the concepts of war and peace. The format of handmade books was chosen for the intimacy that develops between artist and viewer. The emotions connected with war and peace are charged and often cause defensive and angry discussion. The very nature of the book form is comfortable, and hopefully a means of expression that allows for an understanding of artists’ ideas inviting the viewer to “listen” to the work. The hope is that the books will ask questions or present answers, express frustration, provide new thought, new emotional responses to conflict resolution, and to create a community dialogue that is presented in a body of work. We offer an open invitation to book artists and community members to take part in this dialogue in the hopes that the concept will travel and widen the discussion of these contemporary issues. In an effort to preserve the essence of each show an expandable catalog of work has been created for the Library. A handmade collection of all entries, the catalog offers a record of the work and a means of supporting the project to travel through sales of limited editions.

Find examples from the exhibit.


Chew Your Book SLOwly

April 1st, 2002

The Special Collections department of Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library is taking a bite out of illiteracy by sponsoring an edible-book arts exhibit, “Chew Your Book SLOwly,” April 1 at Linnaea’s Cafe in San Luis Obispo.

The public event, from 4 to 6 p.m., will showcase a wide variety of book art, produced in both unconventional and unusual formats, according to the library’s Catherine Trujillo. The exhibit is a compilation of visual, culinary and book arts, and all entries are edible.

The 3rd Annual International Edible Book Festival is designed to promote literacy by bringing the written word and art together in an alternative medium, said Trujillo. “This epicurean event will be celebrated simultaneously throughout the world, with the palatable potpourri of books exhibited and consumed by those in attendance. The festival, initiated by author Judith A. Hoffberg in 1999, has become an international event through artist Béatrice Coron’s Books2EatWebsite.

“Chew Your Book SLOwly” is being presented in partnership with the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council and the San Luis Obispo Literacy Council.