Over the three years I have been working in the Art Gallery on campus, I’ve heard the same question at least 100 times from students: “We have an art gallery?” It’s even possible that you asked the same question as you began reading this post. Though sometimes overlooked, the gallery provides a unique opportunity for students to experience high-quality art right on campus, and it’s free!
Generally, the gallery exhibits two to three shows a semester, each lasting about one or two months long. These exhibits range from local artists like those of the “Utica Camera Club” show, to renowned artists like those exhibited this month in “The Landscape Revisited.” The common theme is the quality of the work that the gallery exhibits. Each show is produced, hung, and advertised by the student staff, under the leadership of the gallery director Carolynne Whitefeather.
In addition to the great exhibits, the gallery provides other services for the college community. The gallery is able to be reserved for meetings by students and staff with the gallery directors approval. Likewise, the gallery regularly shows films and documentaries, while also maintaining a quiet reserved space for students to come study or simply relax after a stressful day.
The gallery also hosts two to three Art Fridays during each semester, which give students the opportunity to relax and hang out while learning how to make fine arts and crafts. These crafts range from holiday themed pieces to creative uses for household items, but all are easy and fun to create. Often, attendees will be entered into a giveaway to win prizes just for showing up.
The gallery is one of the largest employers of students on campus with 16 students currently on staff, each bringing their own skills and experiences to the production and presentation of the exhibit. It is not uncommon for the gallery employees to be responsible for conducting research on upcoming exhibits and projects, as well as pieces contained in the college’s extensive art collection.
The gallery aims to send each student away with something they can use to market themselves to potential employers after they graduate from Utica College. The student employees are thoroughly taught information about the exhibits to provide the best experience for the visitor when they come to the gallery. I would challenge you, perhaps to the dismay of my co-workers, to come down and ask any employee about the artwork. I expect that you will walk away being impressed with the information and insight they can give you.
I personally encourage any student to stop down to the gallery whenever they can, and that’s not just because I work there. Having a knowledge of artwork can really be a selling point when applying for jobs or impressing the higher-ups once you have the job. Also, who wouldn’t want to add a little culture to their lives? I can tell you from personal experience that being able to speak about art will make you seem all that more intelligent.
Want to know more?
You can connect to the Gallery Online at these links: