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Texas State Galleries showcase creative diversity

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The Texas State Galleries were designed to offer a space for students and faculty members to express creativity, engage in civil discourse and connect through the language of art.

The galleries, located in the Joann Cole Mitte building, are adorned with quality artwork from students, faculty, alumni, staff, regional artists, national artists and international artists.

“The level of the art we showcase here is on par with work you would see in any major gallery or museum anywhere,” said Gallery Director Margo Handwerker.

Bronwyn McNully, communication design senior, said she enjoys being able to view the creative works of other student through the variety of featured artists

“I know that there are some times when the gallery features student work, and that’s a lot of fun, especially when there are works from other majors,” McNully said. “You get the opportunity to explore what other people, who aren’t exactly in your program, are doing.”

The galleries host around 20 different exhibitions throughout the year. McNully was among the featured student artists. She had the opportunity to have her artwork displayed in an exhibit and said it was a great experience.

“I did a study abroad recently, and they did an exhibit in the galleries featuring the works from the trip,” McNully said. “It was a really interesting experience to have my work on display in the galleries. It felt really nice to have a piece that I was proud of from my study abroad experience on display.”

In addition to various exhibitions, the area offers an environment where people can have open conversations about controversial issues, said Handwerker. Visiting artists give lectures and present workshops throughout the academic year for students.

“Art can be such a wonderful way of bringing people together to talk about one issue or another,” Handwerker said. “It’s a way to kind of get people to step back and talk about a difficult issue through an art object, which I think is very important, especially right now.”

Organizers of the galleries believe student engagement is important and they aim to cultivate a schedule beneficial for all Bobcats.

“I think one other interesting thing about our gallery is that it’s really student-focused,” said Chad Dawkins, associate director of the Texas State Galleries. “We keep our hours open so students always have a chance to come by and see the shows regardless of their schedules, and our gallery is staffed primarily with students of art and design too.”

Two of the spaces are used primarily for the scheduled exhibitions, but the third space is a bit more flexible. For the fall 2017, organizers of the galleries will give students, faculty, and alumni the opportunity to pitch show ideas.

“We have a new program rolling out this spring to start in the fall where we use our third gallery space to solicit proposals from students, faculty, and alumni in order to have a show,” Dawkins said.

Exhibits change about once a month, and the galleries are free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information about upcoming exhibitions and events, visit the university’s event calendar or the Texas State Galleries website.

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