To find the student art gallery, Union students used to have to walk to the PAC. Now they will see student art frequently, even when on a coffee run.
The Union Art Department is moving the student gallery to Barefoots Joe this fall. Student galleries and receptions will be held in the coffee shop.
The department is consolidating space to be as much under one roof as possible. Previously, the art department was spread out over many buildings.
This separation was a matter of necessity, but “it wasn’t the community that we could have” said Melinda Posey, assistant professor of art. By adding a graphics gallery to the PAC and moving the student gallery to Barefoots, the art department will better facilitate an artistic community, she said.
This move to consolidate comes from a suggestion from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. NASAD, on an accreditation visit, suggested that it was better to have the art students working in the same general area.
This change will provide Union artists with more exposure for their work. Public exposure will allow Union students to interact more with the art of their university.
“[The space] has the potential to increase their audience and to help them think about setting up a show in a busy place,” said Joy Moore, director of Barefoots Joe.
Installing art in a coffee shop is not an easy task. While Barefoots has featured multiple pieces of artwork from alumni and regional artists, such a well used space may prove a challenge for artists, particularly those displaying ceramic and sculpture pieces.
Posey has confidence that Union’s artists will be able to display their work well.
“They are going to see this as a challenge, and they are going to rise to the challenge,” she said.
Artists consistently must move from venue to venue, and the move to Barefoots Joe will give Union’s artists experience in adapting artwork to fit the space provided, Posey said.
The new graphics lab should open in the PAC around the middle of October.