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College of Arts and Humanities

CWU Art Department Opens Gallery 231

One of the first and only galleries devoted solely to student artwork in Washington, Gallery 231 at Central Washington University is a distinctive, light-filled space designed to showcase student talent. Gallery 231 opened May 20 with the work of nine graduating studio art majors.

Featured in the opening show were Nickie Bountharath (Connell), Thomas Eccles (Maple Valley), Amanda Hanson (Ellensburg), Kara Jones (Bothell), Timothy Lockey (Puyallup), Hailey Potter (Freeland), Nicole Pitts (Maple Valley), Samantha Simonson (Kent), and Kristina Todd (Kirkland).

“I started planning a student art gallery as soon as I walked in the door,” said Gregg Schlanger, professor and chair of the art department, who came to CWU in 2011. “We are offering students a professional degree in art, and to be ready you have to know how to mount an exhibition. This gives them the hands-on experience of designing and lighting an exhibition."

“In addition, their work has to be ready to exhibit. This is one way to gauge the success of our programs: can our graduates put together a quality exhibition?”

According to Schlanger, the gallery space will allow student groups to mount shows and garner classroom critiques. In addition, graduate students will be able to mount mini-shows. The gallery offers about 600 square feet of exhibit space, with an additional 250 square feet behind the mounting wall for a meeting space. The gallery was created from the art faculty lounge and involved tearing out carpet and cabinets, and installing plywood so that “you can pound a nail and hang anything,” said Schlanger.

Currently, there are 200 students in the art department, which provides instruction in a variety of media, including ceramics, photography, studio arts, and graphic design.

There will be a closing reception of the current exhibit on June 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., immediately following commencement.

Gallery 231 is located in room 231 in Randall Hall on the campus of Central Washington University, on Nicholson Boulevard across from Nicholson Pavilion. The gallery is free and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, except during holidays.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu

May 23, 2013