New River Campus Art Gallery Exhibiting Contemporary Faculty, Student Work

Exhibit of Students’ Summer Artwork on Display through Sept. 7

Seminary Building where the Art Gallery is housedCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 29, 2007 – Art faculty and students will no longer have to share their showroom space with military artifacts. When Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus opened last week so did an art gallery dedicated to the work of students and faculty.

Pat Reagan, chair of the Department of Art, said the Southeast Missouri Regional Museum traditionally has hosted faculty and student art shows.

“We are so pleased to finally have our own space for art shows, and the students are very excited.”

Megan Matter, a senior majoring in art, said she is happy the Department of Art is expanding.

“I’m very excited about it,” she said. “The students are looking forward to having our own space to display our work. I’ll miss the old museum, but the new area will be really nice.”

Reagan said, “There will be a mixture of art exhibits. Along with faculty and student shows, the department will invite guest artists to lecture and display their own work. The new gallery will be filled with contemporary, up-to-the-minute art.”

The art gallery is located on the first floor of the south wing of the newly restored St. Vincent’s College and Seminary Building. The room spans 1,275 square feet and has exhibition space for approximately 40 paintings or sculptures, depending on the size of the artwork. The gallery also will feature a monitor screen to exhibit 3D animation, allowing those who specialize in digital artwork to show their creations.

Jeff Lovett, technical director of the River Campus, said the gallery also features 277-volt track lighting, a system used mostly for art exhibits and in museums.

“The lamps are produced so their temperature doesn’t rise too much, preventing color fade which interferes with the way the art looks. The lighting system is flexible in case the gallery needs more or less light. The gallery can borrow from the museum and vice versa.”

The first exhibit in the gallery, which opened last week, features student art created in summer workshops, including 45 works of clay, ceramic, fiber, figurative sculpture and computer art. The gallery is open weekdays from 1 to 5 p.m., and the show will remain on display through Sept. 7. A closing reception in connection with the exhibit is planned for 3-5 p.m. Sept. 7. The reception is being held in conjunction with the “Around Town” program which starts this fall, making it one of several community art venues to be open on Friday evenings as a part of the “First Friday” program.

“Around Town” is a collective network of artists, studios and galleries promoting interest in the arts and public awareness of the presentation of fine artistic venues. “First Friday” is a partnering of studios and galleries in Cape Girardeau in an effort to provide the city with a monthly arts venue. Many local art galleries will have a show open on the first Friday of each month with local, regional and national artists displaying their artistic and diverse mediums. Several galleries provide light refreshments, and all visitors are encouraged to visit the studios and galleries during the monthly event.

One of the biggest shows hosted by the Department of Art is the Annual Art Students Juried Assessment Exhibition, giving all art majors the opportunity to show two works they created in class. All pieces are judged by a juror or artist from another university. Monetary awards are given in each category and purchase awards are given from many administrative offices. The Salon Des Refuse Exhibition, a tradition dating back to the late 1800s, occurs in conjunction with the Annual Art Students Juried Assessment Exhibition and features artwork that is not selected by the juror to be in the Juried Exhibition. This exhibition will probably occur on the main campus.  Students spend a lot of time on their art and take pride in it – they want it seen by the community. This “refused” art exhibit is a chance for them to show the entirety of their hard work.

Another show of interest is the Annual Art Seniors Exhibition, held for students pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree. Seniors must exhibit a body of work created during their final year, produced under the direction of three faculty members.

The Artist’s Guild Show and Sale is traditionally held after Thanksgiving. This show gives students the opportunity to show and sell their artwork of ceramics, wearable fiber art, prints and photographs.