Student "Zombies" Collect Canned Goods for Charity

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 13, 2009) – Students from the School of Art & Art History will participate in a Zombie Walk for charity Wednesday, Oct. 14 beginning at 9 a.m. The students will be collecting canned food for Metropolitan Ministries.

Faculty, staff and students who would like to donate canned goods to Metropolitan Ministries should look out for a horde of zombies around the Cooper Hall/Library area around 9 a.m. and the residence halls around noon. If you are “lucky enough” to escape the zombies, you can bring canned foods to FAH 226, the School of Art & Art History main office.

Please be aware that the zombies have no intention of disrupting classes and will only be roaming the common areas of campus. They will be dressed in full zombie costume and make-up, meaning they will be wearing tattered clothing, fake blood and gore. Additionally, they will be taking on the persona of a zombie, but instead of devouring the living they are looking for canned foods. They will not be carrying anything that could be misinterpreted as a weapon. If there are questions please contact Deb Dennison, 813-974-2360.

The Zombie Walk is being organized by students from the School of Art & Art History’s Concepts and Practices course. The course is a core level art class, focused on contemporary art. Students carry out research as an integral part of each assignment, researching contemporary artists, their reason for making art, and the methods they use. Students translate this information into their own practice and are encouraged to take risks experimenting with art expressions and techniques that they haven’t used before.

The Zombie Walk is a supplemental project within the larger Z project. The Z project is a pop culture based study of contemporary art practice. Students have studied several artists with non-traditional means of production. While fitting in the genre of zombie film, they have looked at light, texture, composition, and performance. Students have studied the history of the genre, cataloging the sub cultures within “zombieism” and developed their own narratives that are being produced in two zombie films. Students study performance art by actually performing for the class and the public. 

Zombie Walks are taking place across the globe for different reasons; charity (like this one), as a political statement and some just for recreation. Zombie Walks feature a group of people in full zombie costume and make-up and are expected to take on the behavior of zombies; walking in slow limps, groaning in pain and often reaching out for the “living” passer-bys.

The University of South Florida System is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The system offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. It has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.