Student Art Spaces and Artsideout

Art seems to be tucked into every corner of Seattle University’s campus. From the murals at Cherry Street Market to the various outdoor sculptures on the lower mall, art is hidden in plain sight. Seattle U is even home to three on-campus galleries: Kinsey, Hedreen and Vachon. But how can the students of Seattle U get their art featured on campus?

RACHEL LARSON • THE SPECTATOR
RACHEL LARSON • THE SPECTATOR

The Hedreen Gallery at the Lee Center for the Arts is dedicated to the vibrancy of Seattle’s artistic community. Pictured is “Mystical Orchid”, which was displayed from Aug. 31 to Oct. 14.

One avenue students can use to get their art displayed is by majoring in photography, visual arts or design. These students can showcase their work in the Vachon Gallery, located in the Fine Arts building.

According to Claire Gourette, the newly appointed chair of the Art Department, most art students will put on a show their senior year in the Vachon. During winter quarter, advanced painting students exhibit work from their studies with Professor Francisco Guerrero. Digital design seniors work under the tutelage of Professor Naomi Kasumi and exhibit their work in the spring.

The last show of the year is for seniors in the photography program, who exhibit their work as part of their major requirements.The Vachon is currently the only of the three galleries on Seattle U’s campus that is available for student art exhibitions. Although Seattle U has the privilege of hosting art galleries on-campus, one might wonder how they can be more involved in Seattle U art displays.

“The department is toying with additional exhibition spaces to be used exclusively by students,” Gourette said. “Most likely, it would be directed by a student club.”

The likely candidate for that student club is ArtsideOut, Seattle U’s recently resurrected art club. ArtsideOut is dedicated to creating a space for artists at Seattle U to discuss, create and build community around art. Last year, the club set up a gallery in the basement of the Hunthausen building that was completely student-run. This gallery consisted of works by ArtsideOut members as well as work submitted by all types of students. From video installations to paintings and live music, student’s work from all different kinds of mediums were displayed in this unique gallery.

Though it was temporary, the creation of this student-centric space, is what defined ArtsideOut as an artistic force on campus. The club frequently meets for open-studio time, a place where members go to discuss and collaborate.

By creating spaces for artists to connect and grow, ArtsideOut creates a culture centered around students personal work and ideas in a way traditional classes may not be able to.

“ArtsideOut helped me find a better connection to the art community at school” said sophomore Devon McCauley, Exhibition Curator and Co-President of ArtsideOut. McCauley, Junior Koze Kole and Sophomore Kate Murray are the three co-presidents of ArtsideOut.

“Meeting new people is one of the coolest things about ArtsideOut… finding other people who share the same passions is really powerful,” Kole said.

McCauley and Kole are Digital Design majors and Murray is a Marketing Major.

“ArtsideOut reminded me that art was something that I enjoyed. I wasn’t taking an art class. So this set aside a time and space for me to step back and make stuff,” Murray said. “The campus actually really does want to involve students in the galleries more.”

Gourette assured that art faculty are “really enthusiastic to support these kinds of endeavours by students.” Luckily for them, the ArtsideOut team does not seem to be short of ideas. Among their hopes for the coming years are partnerships with local studios, collaborations with professors, and possibly getting involved with Capitol Hill’s monthly ArtWalk.

“We want to form a bridge between the students, what the school is doing, and the faculty and staff. [They] really support us and are curious about what we have to say and what we want to do. They take us really seriously,” McCauley said.

ArtsideOut is rapidly gaining momentum. There are even talks of ArtsideOut working in cohorts with the Faculty and Staff of the Art Department and creating an art space in the lobby of the Fine Arts building where students could showcase and curate all of the art shown.

“Something we are really going for this year,” Kole said, “is being a voice for the students on campus. If we can find a way to use our following and get people to go to stuff, it could be really fun, you know?”

Nothing is official, but the three co-presidents are eager to get more artists involved in creating student-run art spaces. To get involved in ArtsideOut, email artsideoutcrew@gmail.com.

“Everyone’s so on board,” McCauley said, “so why hasn’t this happened already?”

The editor may be reached at
hwitt@su-spectator.com

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