There have been many exhibits at the Mertes Center for the Arts gallery since its installation four years ago. Fine Art, Photography and specialty shows are among the different types of exhibits that one can view in his or her free time or in between classes. Art students may even gaze upon the different pieces that go into circulation during the semester and hope that, one day, their artwork may be displayed there as well.
But many may be surprised; displaying artwork in the student gallery is not as complicated as it seems.
However, there is still a process to get your work up, as well as guidelines that must be followed.
Bill Paskewitz, Visual Arts Coordinator for LPC, gives some insight on how the process works.
“The first thing I do is that I let the full-time and part-time (faculty) in Fine Arts, Photography, and Graphic Design decide whether they want to have group shows for their students’ work,” he said.
After accommodating the faculty, Paskewitz opens the door up for students who have consulted with their instructors on whether or not they have enough pieces for the show and if it meets the guidelines for the gallery.
“We stay away from political, religious and anything pornographic. Just some basic good rules,” he said.
Artwork is rotated out every two weeks, resulting in about
eight opportunities to showcase work per semester.
As a bonus, utilization of the space is not limited to only students of the arts. For example, the gallery hosts an exhibit for the veterans every Veteran’s Day. Outside groups are also invited to show as long as they contact the Visual Arts department and agree to their conditions.
The only reserve about that, according to Paskewitz, is the limited security.
Although no artwork has been stolen or vandalized in the gallery itself, there have been security issues with artwork displayed on campus.
“We have had issues in the past on campus when we used to hang in the 800 building in the hallway,” said Paskewitz, “I had students who took pens and magic markers and graffitied other people’s art.”
Showcasing in the gallery gives students the opportunity to get some hands-on experience on what it is like in the real world to put on a professional show.
It is also a good place for students to get honest critiques from viewers.
“The beauty about being an artist is that you can even be in the room and just listen because people don’t know who you are necessarily,” Paskewitz said.
Paskewitz hopes for the school to have a second gallery some time in the future, which will mean more chances for students and outside artists to showcase their work.
“But all in good time,” he said.