Karl Drerup Art Gallery Set to Move
Next year, The Karl Drerup Art Gallery will move to the Museum of the White Mountains, which is located at 34 Highland Street. The gallery is currently located on the first floor of the Draper and Maynard building.
The Karl Drerup Art Gallery, which is just shy of its 50th year with the name, is a staple for representation of the arts at PSU.
PSU President Donald Birx decided on the transition, but members of the KDAG staff expressed positive views about the upcoming merge.
“It’s about assembling a strong team and combining forces to make a strong presentation of visual art on campus,” said KDAG gallery director Cynthia Robinson.
Though the change will be new to PSU, the transition has been planned for quite some time. “A lot of peop think these things happen really fast, but our exhibit plan is planned one to three years ahead of time,” Robinson said.
The KDAG staff is aware that, at first, students met news of the change with apprehension.
Katama Murray, president of the Student Art Collective, said, “Well, at first, I was pretty disappointed to hear the news, honestly, because I feel like there are a lot of people who don’t find the arts as important as other subject areas.”
“My thought was that they’re taking the space away because they don’t think it’s contributing as much as they would hope it to. But, after hearing some ideas and goals and thoughts for next year, [about] bringing the two places together, I’m starting to accept it and look forward to it and get excited.”
According to KDAG staff, the current state of the gallery is not going to be altered, or lose any of its aspects; the change is purely geographical.
“The only thing you’re losing is the nostalgia of the space,” said KDAG administrative assistant Mike Heitz. “The program and the idea and the commitment to the exhibits is not changing.”
Difficulty with change and worries about the new gallery space are being taken into account and heard.
A comment box is located outside of KDAG, and anyone can log on to plymouth.edu/gallery/comments-page and leave comments regarding transition concerns.
Certain students have reservations regarding how far the space is moving from its current location.
“I think it’s going to make it more difficult,” said PSU student and Museum of the White Mountains employee Michaila Sheehan. “If it’s moving up here, it’s far away from the art building and the art classes. So, I feel like teachers, maybe, aren’t going to use it as much. Or, if they do, it’s not going to be during class, and it would be out of class.”
Other students are apprehensive about the move for other reasons. Students work the front desk at the Museum of the White Mountains, and there is trepidation regarding the amount of work hours that will continue to be offered.
“For us, working here, they’re going to cut down the jobs,” said PSU student and Museum of the White Mountains employee Shayne McConnell.
The KDAG staff said they will be keeping work study and employment opportunities as available as they are now after the transition.
The Museum of the White Mountains already houses artwork, and shares a great deal of resources with KDAG. “The gallery and the museum have a lot of common things that we want to get done,” Robinson said.
At times, members of the public are not aware that the gallery is associated with PSU. KDAG staff hopes that the gallery’s transition to Highland Street will give the community more access to the gallery. “It’s so much more welcoming to the community,” Robinson said.
One thing that the art gallery location change will not affect is the showcasing of seniors’ artwork. The transition will not take place until after graduation.
“We want to take the time to celebrate the seniors’ work, because they’ve been working all year. They’re not going to get lost in the shuffle,” Robinson said.
During the initial post-transition phase, the gallery will be hosting activities, which will hopefully aid in acclimating students to the new space. “We’re going to have a lot of student activities going on to introduce students,” Robinson said.
Input and ideas are encouraged and welcomed. Changes are not yet concrete. “Since we are evacuating out of this area, there is going to be opportunity for new things to come in. It isn’t exactly set in stone what this space is going to become yet,” Heitz said.
“It’s still fluid. So it’s a great opportunity for anybody, not even just art students, to give their input as to what they want to see as a resource here on campus.”
If anyone has questions or concerns regarding the gallery or the upcoming transition, feel free to contact gallery director Cynthia Robinson at email@example.com.
CLOCK PHOTO / ALICE REED
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