Help Update Lighting in Meek Hall’s Student Art Gallery
Every semester, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts students in the University of Mississippi Department of Art and Art History display their work in Gallery 130 in Meek Hall. Exhibitions are not just fun; they are also part of degree requirements.
In recent years, UM’s BFA and MFA students have had to wrestle with more than the intellectual and creative challenges that come with putting together art shows. The biggest obstacle the students face is the beloved old gallery itself.
Lighting in Gallery 130 is outdated and in poor condition, and some sections of lights no longer work. Other professional galleries on campus and in Oxford have proper lighting that creates an optimal viewing experience and showcases work the way the artists intended. Our art students deserve to display the product of their years of hard work in a similar setting.
“We need to make some changes,” said Nancy Wicker, interim chair of the Art and Art History Department. “We updated our bulbs from halogen to LED, which helped. But there are five sections of the track lighting that is unusable. If you look at the tracks themselves, you’ll see there are clamps holding them together.”
The track lighting system is suspended above the gallery floor. With some galleries, lighting tracks are also used to suspend lightweight sculptures for display. That’s not possible in Gallery 130, where the tracks can only hold the weight of the lights themselves.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design require that accredited fine arts programs feature an exhibition of student work.
“This is not just important for students and their work,” Wicker said. “Having a functional gallery is critical to the accreditation of the entire department.”
To replace the Gallery 130 lighting system, the Department of Art and Art History is asking Ole Miss alumni and friends and other art supporters to help.
A gift of any size can make a difference for both student art majors and visitors who wish to enjoy the Oxford area’s full visual arts experience. Gallery 130 is open to the public and is a stop on the community’s art crawl.
Your support for Gallery 130 lighting means students will have a better place to display their artwork, faculty will have strengthened teaching facilities, and the University can offer a more functional arts destination for visitors.
As a way of expressing their thanks to you and other donors to this campaign, students and faculty in the Art Department have created special gifts featuring their art. Your gifts support exceptional work!