Opening of the new Allegheny Art Gallery, “Making Space” – The Campus

Allegheny Art Galleries features the work of four artists in the newly opened “Making Space”. The gallery is located in the Doane Hall of Art and opened on Tuesday March 1 and will remain open to the public until April 2.
“It’s an exhibition that deviates a bit from what we often do,” said assistant art history professor Paula Burleigh, who has worked with Erie Arts & Culture director Patrick Fisher. , to get in touch with the artists. and to get their work in the gallery. “(This gallery) was an effort to recognize the truly exciting work that is currently being done in Erie by Erie Arts & Culture.” The featured artists are all alumni of the month-long Erie Arts & Culture residency program. The program is designed in partnership with the Florida-based arts nonprofit Long Road Projects to bring contemporary artists from around the country and around the world into the Erie community and give them a month of “dedicated time and space to brainstorm, research and create new bodies of work – outside of their usual environments,” according to their website. The four artists whose work is featured in “Making Space” are Gonzalo Hernandez, Sharon Norwood, Hiromi Moneyhun and Stephon Senegal, with each artist coming from a different cultural background which influences the work featured in the gallery.
Hernandez is originally from Peru and uses her familiarity with Peruvian textiles in her work. Norwood is African American and her work centers on this experience and the folklore that surrounds this experience both historically and contemporary. Moneyhun was born in Kyoto and, despite moving to Florida in 2004, references her artistic background, with many of her illustrated works combining more traditional Japanese art with the increased contemporaneity of modern-era Japan. Senegal focuses on West Africa, drawing on the stories and mythologies found there for its art.
“I think all of the artists in the show are really thinking about the gallery space and trying to disrupt what Sharon Norwood calls ‘the historically white gallery space,'” Burleigh said.
Burleigh said the pieces lined up all over the gallery.
“We can think of the gallery as a white cube, you know, we’re very decidedly white walls,” Burleigh said. “Historically, it was kind of a racially monolithic space that was exclusive, and I think all of these artists really think about that explicitly in how they make space in their work. For stories, narratives, new mythologies proliferate from a range of communities and cultures. And so, they’re all now based in the United States, but in many cases they work from communities that connect to their own heritage. The next exhibition that the Allegheny Art Gallery will host is the annual Open Student Exhibition. Unlike other student shows that take place throughout the year that are tied to course work like the Junior Seminar or Senior Competition, the annual Open Student Show is open to all Allegheny students. The student’s major and whether they have ever taken an art course are not factors, but just because an artwork is submitted does not mean it will be put in the gallery. After two days of “reception”, when the art is submitted, a third-party judge not affiliated with the college comes to evaluate the works. Student work that is not accepted into the gallery is not discarded or ignored, but collected by the Student Art Society and displayed in the Box Gallery. There are also the other two student shows that take place in the spring semester.
“Making Space” will also serve as a gathering space for a music event featuring Douglas Jurs, Assistant Professor of Music, as well as a guest artist on March 11. A virtual panel discussion featuring the four artists will take place on Tuesday, March 15 starting at 6:30 p.m.

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