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Art Gallery Moves to Museum of the White Mountains

By Tianna Sparks; For the Clock
On November 24, 2017

Art Gallery Moves to Museum of the White Mountains 

Tianna Sparks

For the Clock 

What is the reasoning behind the caution tape surrounding the front of Draper & Maynard’s doors? Are you curious as to what happened to the Karl Drerup Art Gallery? Before the fall semester began, a decision was made by President, Donald L. Birx of Plymouth State University to move the Karl Drerup Art Gallery (KDAG) from the Draper & Maynard art building to the Museum of the White Mountains (MWM). Part of the goal for this new relocation coincided with the formation of the new clusters on campus to create new kinds of groupings on a home basis. The old gallery space located in Draper and Maynard is potentially going to serve as a new home base for arts and technologies incorporating more of a hands-on lab with different kinds of technologies. Ideas are still being developed for what will exactly be going into the new space within D&M, but the intention is to certainly make it a very interactive space for students.

Cynthia Robinson, previously the Director of the Karl Drerup Art Gallery, but now the official director of the Museum of the White Mountains, said “I really loved the space in D&M and it brought a lot of great experiences to not only my career, but to the building of D&M itself and the community as well.” However, as she thought about this new relocation and discussed with other faculty and staff at PSU about it, she said, “The real excitement is bringing the gallery up to the MWM expands the audience more to the community.” Because of the central location in Plymouth and having it right on the street, the museum receives more walking traffic and community members can become more aware of the space along with the art featured inside.

Cynthia said, “The museum itself also provides much more space and breathing room than it did on the first floor of D&M with a main floor containing exhibition space and a downstairs space consisting of an open lab area which opens up the option for teachers to use it as a classroom space, a setting for workshops to be held, PowerPoint presentations and films can be shown, art-making can take place, and much more.”

The exhibition space on the main floor of MWM will still hold the student and faculty based exhibitions of PSU such as the Juried Student exhibit, Faculty exhibit, and BFA exhibit. It offers the option of having other related exhibitions to go on at the same time downstairs as well. The classic traditions of Bingo Nights with pizza and Jammin’ at Karl’s will still live on and the MMW strongly encourages faculty at PSU to bring their classes to the museum and for students to check out what resources they have to offer. In the near future, the MWM hopes to see afterschool programs happening for students around the area as well as potential summer camps.

Ian McCowan, senior BFA student said, “Initially when I first found out about the gallery being consolidated into the museum, I was very upset and I think everybody was because at least in the art department, it was a valuable resource providing a space to display work, and there has been a lot of great shows there.” Ian originally liked the idea of having the separation between the museum holding museum exhibitions, meanwhile KDAG in D&M was primarily focused on fine arts exhibitions and student work. However, when Ian spoke with Cynthia about the move, he found the positives in the situation and is all in all happy to hear about exciting improvements for the gallery as a resource for art students.

Katama Murray, president of the Student Art Collective and a fellow at the MSW said, “It’s kind of a hard situation for me as both a student and an employee because I have been working at the gallery now for almost two years. I find it upsetting that there was little to no communication with the students and some of the faculty about the decision because if they had been told prior to the decision then maybe we could have come up with an alternative solution rather than totally removing it.” However, looking at the positive side of the relocation, Katama said, “The gallery is now at a bigger and beautiful place at the museum which has really great facilities that we didn’t have at D&M.”

The MWM offers free admission and is open to the public Monday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday 11 am to 4 pm. 

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