Art students submitted a petition this month and are negotiating for permanent space in the Lisner Auditorium’s Dimock Gallery. They complain there is not enough space to hang student art, and have even used walls in the Gelman Library for displays recently.
The Dimock Gallery formerly held the University Art Gallery, which moved last spring to a new and currently unnamed gallery in the Media and Public Affairs building. The MPA gallery showcases area, professional and graduate student art exhibitions, while the Dimock Gallery will exhibit work by all students. Anyone enrolled in an art class at GW will be able to have their work displayed, said Lenore Miller, director of University Art Galleries.
“I can’t believe we actually have it,” GW graduate student Liz Duarte said. “It was a big surprise, because we were really putting up a fight.”
The Dimock Gallery closed last semester when the MPA gallery opened, and officials discussed possibilities for the gallery, Miller said. She said the art department was given notice it could use it after negotiations and planning with faculty.
Miller said she and her advisory council are “trying to resolve” the question of who decides what art will be exhibited where.
For now, the art department will decide what art will be exhibited in the Dimock Gallery, while Miller and her advisory council will decide what art will be exhibited in the MPA gallery.
The First Annual Student-Run Art Show, now on display until March 29, is not located in the Dimock or the Brady galleries. Instead, the art is exhibited in various campus locations, including Gelman Library, the Smith Hall of Art and the Academic Center on the Mount Vernon campus.
“Gelman was very receptive to receiving our work,” GW graduate student Karen Karuthes said. “However, it’s very unfortunate that it’s really the only space we’ve had to exhibit student work.”
Duarte said although vandalism of the pieces hanging in Gelman is possible and not entirely preventable, it is worth the risk.
“If we don’t put them out in the world, they won’t be seen. We can always make more,” she said.
Karuthes said there are “constraints” in using Gelman as an art exhibit.
“The hallway limits the size and dimensions of the pieces we can display,” Karuthes said. “You can’t admire the pieces from afar.”
Duarte also said having work in Gelman limits the artwork to a campus audience because only GWorld cardholders may enter.
Thom Brown, assistant professor of painting, said using the library to exhibit student art is “better than nothing.”
“I think it’s great,” he said. “It’s not an ideal space, but it’s a process. The Dimock Gallery would be great for us.”
There is a considerable amount of work still to be done in the gallery before student art pieces can be displayed in Dimock.
Karuthes said that students are faced with two main problems in putting up an exhibit in the Dimock: funding and getting people to participate in the organization of the show.
“There is not a lot of incentive for students to participate because it’s so time-consuming,” she said. “We need all the help we can get.”
“We won’t have any budget at all, except for money we acquire elsewhere,” said Duarte.
Brown said that he expects the first Dimock student art show to go up March 4.
He encouraged anyone interested in getting involved to attend the next planning meeting Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Smith Hall A102.