Edinboro University’s very own art department has allowed for students to share their work with the public. The Bates Gallery, named for Waldo Bates, a former art professor, is located on campus at Loveland Hall for all students to see. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is run by the student art league.
The gallery has several different exhibitions throughout the semester.
“We regularly have exhibitions each week,” Professor D.W. Martin said. “It’s comprised of several different students from different areas with different mediums.”
In order to set up these weekly exhibitions, planning is key. According to Martin, at the end of each semester there’s a jurying process that will set the slate for the following semester. “That is organized through the student art league and its officers,” Martin said.
As mentioned before, the Bates Gallery is named after a former art professor Waldo Bates, who taught at Edinboro University from 1920 to 1954. “At that point the student art league was the ScaRAb club,” Martin said. “As far as I know, since the art department has been one of the main programs on the campus it has had a student gallery.”
The student art league does more than set up the gallery every semester. “We always hold an art auction as one of our main fundraisers,” Martin said. “It helps provide money to organize a trip to New York for the students.” According to Martin, though, they haven’t been able to organize the trip because there haven’t been many students getting involved with the art league. His hope was that students would “get organized and get it done.”
Organization is key and this is readily apparent in the fact that according to Martin, all the different art concentrations are involved in the Bates Gallery. “We try to get as many shows in there as we can,” Martin said.
“We encourage them to team up and put together a proposal. The jurying process is done on a Saturday and [we] put out a notice with enough time so students can prepare for it.”
According to Martin, a vote follows the jurying process so they can decide which shows will have an exhibition. The shows that have the most votes get first pick of the dates.
“We give priority to graduate students who are graduating in that semester,” Martin said, “for their final thesis shows.” However it’s more than just a way for students to share their work. According to student artist Ryan Connor, the Bates Gallery creates a sense of community.
“Art shouldn’t be isolated,” he said. “It’s pointless. If there’s nobody around to look at it and give their thoughts and feelings on it. If it’s kept somewhere that it can’t be seen then it’s like the piece doesn’t exist.”
It seems the Bates Gallery and the student art league are doing what they can to get more attention and connect students.
“Art is all about interpretation, so giving the students a way to display their work allows for them to get feedback,” Connor said. “It creates a sense of community and helps to better everybody as artists.”