Written by Art student (watercolor, art history) Taylor Long
There is plenty going on at Western, many new developments are happening. As our last newsletter reported, the university Administration have pushed to bring the Quigley Building renovation before the state and the project is currently under consideration by the Capital Development Committee. There is not a specific time frame as to when the project will commence as it is a large project, but the gears are rolling.
The Faculty is also very excited that the proposal for a Masters in Art: Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization has been moving forward through the committees. While the proposal will need to be approved by all appropriate academic committees, Academic Affairs, the university President, the Board of Trustees, and the state, the faculty are planning on a 2015-16 pilot year for the program, and are currently working on developing the undergraduate curriculum to interface with the graduate program. This is huge for Western’s Art Program as department Chair Dr. Orr progresses the Department up in the world of secondary education.
The annual Art Faculty Exhibit was held from Febuary 6th to March 5th. The event was a great time for students to see what their professors have been working on. It’s hugely important to understand how your teacher works professionally in art and their particular philosophies of such. It gave students the chance to question why the professor is doing what they are in art and how they’ve developed particular concepts. It is so common that students never see their teacher’s artwork because many teachers work at their own studios or in home and it never reaches the classroom; getting to know the professors artwork really helps the student get to know them on a deeper level.
The Faculty exhibit came down on March 5th, which began the first hanging of the BFA show of the semester. The BFA Exhibit was very impressive and professional; the students really put a lot of time and effort into designing not only their show, but also their upcoming careers in art. Seeing their artwork up on the wall in an actual gallery truly gives students a chance to step back for a moment and essentially view their artwork from fresher eyes. This is especially true when they have to stand up and present their work at the convocation and speak to a larger crowd, and also more personally in the gallery, especially to many people who may not be familiar with art concepts or freshman students who are just beginning to develop themselves in art. Sometimes it is still a challenge to explain why we do what we do as artists, yet it is a huge maturing process.
The first BFA show came down finally on April 2nd, and the second BFA Exhibit is up. In case you missed the last exhibit, be sure to not miss this one! The show is up until April 23rd and the convocation will be on Thursday, April 10th. This will give you the chance to learn what students have been working on and to question the students as professional artists. The exhibit includes artists Sarah Dore, Kelli Ann Little, Natalie Kuenzi, Elizabeth Clay, Collin Munoz and Alexandra Mohney. There is a wide variety of emphases and brilliant minds working together in the gallery, so come by if you can show support for the artists. Also, if you want to see more art and possibly support the starving college art students, there will be an art sale coming up on April 30th, led by Professor Chase Hutchinson and student Sam Moore. The sales have always been a huge success and a big encouragement to art students who have been working so hard all year. And after the second BFA show will be the final exhibit, the BA Gala. The BA Gala, hanging up on April 28th will have fourteen exhibiting artists; it feels like six artists is a lot to squeeze in the gallery, fourteen is a massive feat! The Gala Convocation will be on Thursday, May 1st at 12:30. There will be tons of food and fun, all for free; it is definitely one of the annual highlights of the year. Also in line with the BA Gala will be the release of the annual Pathfinder Magazine, which holds student artwork and writings of all sorts. There is not a specific date as to the release of the magazine, but it should be around this time, so keep an eye out.
Apart from the Art Department, as of March 28th, the new Western Field House has opened up! The Mountaineer Field House has been the mega project happening on campus that many students are excited for. The Field House is a multi-purpose building that has something for all students; everything from basketball courts, batting and golf cages, and even a foam pit. The Escalante Fitness center will also be acquiring an expansive room in the Field House and will be offering new fitness programs.
What this means though, is that the old Escalante Fitness Center will be empty, just not for long. There are great minds working together on developing a new idea for the building called the ICEHouse Project. ICE stands for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship. The head of this program is Dr. Chris Greene of the Business Administration Program. Dr. Greene has been hugely supportive of introducing Art students and Business students into working together. This will open so many new doors for Art students in being able to not only promote themselves in a new business method, but also to help business students develop their ideas in new creative ways. This building will essentially be a creative house for development.
There is so much going on and so many ways to be involved, thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter and stay tuned.