October 11, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

New Student Gallery Puts Art Majors, Minors on Display

VALDOSTA — Believing that art should be seen and knowing that art has the power to inspire, Valdosta State University’s Department of Art recently opened a Student Art Gallery. It is located in Room 121 of the Fine Arts Building.

“This is the first year,” said Julie Bowland, art professor and gallery director. “This allows student art to be seen all the time, in a more informal setting ….”

Described as “a unique venue for student and class exhibitions, installations, and collaborative ventures,” the Student Art Gallery is a small space, especially when compared to the Department of Art’s Fine Arts Gallery. It is available to currently enrolled art majors and minors. Exhibits remain on display for no more than two weeks.

Students are required to install and oversee the exhibits and then restore the gallery back to its original condition afterward. Bowland said the Student Art Gallery offers a host of opportunities for students to learn more about and gain experience in the world of art.

Previously, except for senior art students, who have a fall and spring exhibition, art students only had one opportunity to display their work for public viewing — in the spring during the VSU Student Competition, which is actually open to students from all majors.

“The Fine Arts Gallery is booked well in advance,” explained Bowland, “and with a national competition, faculty show, three outside artists, and two senior exhibitions, the student competition has been the only avenue for art students to exhibit their work and that is a juried show.”

With the Student Art Gallery, Bowland noted that any art major or minor can propose a show by sending her five images and a written proposal. A committee comprised of Department of Art faculty members then decides whether to accept the proposal or not.

Department of Art faculty members may also reserve the Student Art Gallery to show student work from their classes.

Students in Craig Hawkins’ fall semester Drawing I course recently exhibited their works, collectively known as “The Hand That Sees.”

“Students seeing their work and the work of others on display has the potential to both encourage and challenge other students within the department,” he said. “With a two-week turnaround for each show on exhibit, the Student Art Gallery celebrates successful work at a frequent rate. It can also raise the bar for what a student is capable of within the guidelines of a classroom project or personal studio practice. The endless possibilities of what that exhibition/project space can present should encourage experimentation with various media. I believe it will also encourage a committed studio work ethic within the student body as well.”

The Student Art Gallery is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. The Fine Arts Building is located at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

An exhibit featuring selections from Kalina Winska’s Two-Dimensional Design class will open on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Contact Julie Bowland at (229) 333-5835 or jabowlan@valdosta.edu to learn more.

The gallery can be found on Facebook by searching for “VSU Student Art Gallery.”