“Can you take a little time today to find some interesting art we can put on the walls in the new space?”
“Well, I actually had an idea about that.”
These were the words that gave birth to the Writing Center Art Gallery Project.
Just before the Fall trimester of 2017, the Writing Center was moved to a new location on campus. Where once we were (relatively) centrally located on campus, the Writing Center staff now found themselves located on the outskirts. The move came with many changes that we would have to adjust to, but one of the improvements we looked forward to was not having to deal with glass walls. The trade-off, however, was a lack of windows and the dullest colored walls to be found.
Just as we were beginning to discuss what would look best to decorate our new barren, drab walls, an idea struck me: by tapping into the neglected art community of a health sciences school we could potentially address two of our problems at once. By featuring student, faculty, and staff art I hoped to rapidly fill our walls with unique pieces while simultaneously bringing people together in our new space. Thus began the Writing Center Art Gallery Project.
As the new gallery curator I soon went to work tracking down artists across campus. The response was greater than expected and soon we were ready to begin. The first artist was chosen, his art was carefully arranged on the walls, a spread of finger-foods was laid out, and the first Writing Center Gallery Opening Event went off wonderfully. With each successive event the rest of the Writing Center staff and I have streamlined and improved the process to provide the best experience possible to those who can join us.
The numbers of people attending our events has continued to grow, as has our variety of art. To date, the Art Project has featured 10 different artists specializing in a range of art forms that include photography, painting, drawing, makeup, quilting, and paper-craft. The general rule, up to this point, has been that as long as it can be hung on the wall it can be featured. However, I am currently working out the logistics of two new events for the 2018-2019 school year.
The first of these would be an event showcasing performance art. The goal is to have everything from musicians and singers to poetry and dramatic readings (there is even a professor that has said she will do an interpretive dance if I can organize the rest of the event).
The other special event would be a big change to our current format. Rather than asking an individual or small group to provide art to be featured, we would ask everyone that would like to participate to come and create art in the Writing Center during the event time. Everything finished within a week’s time would then be displayed through the end of that gallery period.
If you’ve missed any of our previous opening events, stop by during the Summer trimester to see our “Best Of” gallery featuring 1-3 pieces from each of the previous sets. We’re always looking for new artists to feature so if you or a friend are interested in having any of your work featured simply stop by the Writing Center and ask for Max.