A yr ago, UA Little Rock student Kimberly Arcega experienced in no way viewed as making huge oak tables for the gain of her fellow university learners, allow by itself understanding all the skills that would be demanded to develop them.

“This was a substantial discovering expertise as I experienced hardly ever designed just about anything this large ahead of,” explained Arcega, a senior used style and design significant with an emphasis in woodworking. “I acquired firsthand knowledge on the business enterprise side of remaining a custom household furniture builder and uncovered vital new skills along the way.”

Dr. Hank Bray, chair of the Section of Development Management and Civil and Building Engineering, was on the lookout for an artist to make some custom tables for a pupil lounge and pc lab that was getting renovated in the Engineering and Applied Know-how Sciences developing.

“I couldn’t feel of a better location to search than our own Faculty of Art and Design and style,” Bray stated. “We have some quite proficient students there. I imagined it would be fantastic if 1 of our have learners created home furnishings that will be utilized and appreciated by their fellow pupils.”

The School of Art and Style and design proposed Arcega, and the rest is heritage. In January 2023, she began operate on two personalized tables that are roughly eight ft prolonged and 43 inches large and weigh about 400 kilos just about every. The tables can seat at the very least 12 folks and are tailor made produced from oak trees from the college campus, which Arcega milled herself.

Kim Arcega operates a mill noticed to reduce wooden for tables for a new university student lounge at UA Small Rock. Image by Benjamin Krain.

“I desired to maintain the pure beauty of the trees, emphasizing the pure knotting and edges,” Arcega explained. “I wanted to maintain the trees as much as feasible for the reason that these trees are a part of campus and a part of this land. I preserved the stay edges of the trees, and the tables are established on structural metal frames that I fabricated myself. I experienced by no means welded in advance of, so this is another new skill I picked up all through the job.”

The tables are housed in a college student lounge and laptop or computer lab, whose renovation is currently being sponsored by the Related General Contractors (AGC) of Arkansas. The lab is a place the place college students can analyze, hold out involving lessons, collaborate with fellow college students, and maintain pupil corporation conferences.

“This is a exclusive position for learners,” Bray said. “The tables produce a homey environment for college students, and they have the perfect peak to stimulate scholar collaboration. The tables are authentic items of practical art that will be appreciated and utilized for several years and yrs to come. These tables are built to final permanently.”

Arcega estimates that she put in around 250 several hours setting up the tables, and she is very grateful for the new techniques she uncovered that will be practical to her vocation as an artist – how to submit a bid for a skilled career, milling lumber, and welding.

“I am pretty proud of the perform I have performed and the growth I have gotten from accomplishing this job,” Arcega reported. “I had uncertainties mainly because I experienced hardly ever performed something like this, and there are rising pains when you understand new skills that you are not familiar with. I am grateful for all of the assist and aid I obtained from Hank Bray and the School of Artwork and Design and style professors.”