Joan Newberry 0

EMU Art Department: promote emerging artists with a gallery in downtown Ypsilanti!

Joan Newberry 0 Comments
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We propose that the Eastern Michigan University Art Department should invest in and operate a storefront gallery space dedicated to the exhibition of student work in Downtown Ypsilanti.Doing so will create a space for emerging artists to showcase their work where it will actually be seen, it will facilitate a stronger relationship between the university and the Ypsilanti community, it will enrich a growing art community in Ypsilanti, and it will serve as an excellent advertisement for the EMU Art Department.

This petition is primarily fueled by current deficiencies with existing gallery programming. Due to current gallery programming, exit-level MFA, MA, and BFA exhibitions are limited to Ford Gallery for short durations of time (often 1-week or less). Ford gallery, unfortunately, offers its exhibitors little exposure to the campus community at-large. In addition, the short duration of exhibitions allow little time for the general public and any potential press/media outlets to view and review any exhibition of student work. This unfortunately creates a perception among students that their work is not highly valued by the institution.The creation of an additional gallery space dedicated to the exhibition of student work within the Ypsilanti community would afford the time needed to hold longer exhibitions of student work as well as celebrate the student work with an increased visibility of the program.

As the numbers of new art students, both undergraduate and graduate, are declining, the university should recognize that in promoting its art students, it is promoting its art department. The on-campus galleries do a good job serving the campus community; that said, they do not draw much attention from the general public. A storefront space would serve as great promotional/marketing material for the department.

Lastly, by locating a gallery space within downtown Ypsilanti, it would be the hopes that further connections between the city and community could be established. Such a space could serve as a catalyst to further enrich the already budding art scene, form connections with local businesses, and attract others to Ypsilanti.

Through this gallery, Eastern Michigan University will strengthen its relationship with the city, promote visual art and emerging artists, and advertise its art department to an ever-increasing number of young artists living in Ypsilanti. Please sign to show your support for this idea!

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