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Student gallery looks to cross boundaries between schools

Photo courtesy of Megan Pierce-Cramer

As a college student, one probably noticed that a high school curriculum encompassed many subjects every semester, but a college schedule is much more focused. Business students focus on business classes while art students focus on art classes, and for many, this can be drab. Fortunately, Drake offers a liberal degree, encouraging students to branch out during their time here. In an attempt to really start breaking scholastic barriers, several business and art students have come together to bring a gala to Aliber Hall.

“(Senior) Quint Hall came to me with the idea of sprucing up the walls of Aliber,” said senior Stephanie Spitz, president of Drake’s Visual Arts Association. “He thought that a collaboration between the business school and department of art & design would encourage more students to get involved with each other.”

Pretty soon, a team was assembled to put on the show, including Spitz, Hall, Randall Blum, assistant dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, and Benjamin Gardner, assistant professor of art and design.

Students submitted proposals to be judged by the team. The team sifted through the submissions and decided on 12 pieces from seven students to be displayed in what Spitz describes as “a great opportunity for art students to show their work while exposing business students and faculty to fresh artwork.”

Stereotypically, it would be easy to say that the business school would be less likely to embrace the arts, but Spitz said she believes there’s something for everyone.

“I challenge everyone to take a second to really experience the pieces in person,” she said. “They aren’t just making the walls a little less boring. They have something to say, and I believe that Drake is a great audience.”

She also said that she believes the show will “enable non-art students to learn from and experience art.”

This was also a goal of senior Megan Pierce-Cramer, one of the artists whose work was selected.

“I wanted to show (my work) in this particular space because I think having a gallery space in a building that isn’t (the Harmon Fine Arts Center) is extremely important in terms of unifying our campus,” she said.

Pierce-Cramer also said that she hopes to dispel some of the stereotypes about art that would typically drive someone outside the field.

“I think most non-art majors feel art is large abstract paintings or traditional nude figure drawings,” she said, “but there is a wide variety of mediums and an external source of images and styles. And I hope people maybe walk away with a new and improved understanding or appreciation of art.”

Attendees will also get a chance to mingle with the artists, just in case they aren’t quite catching the piece’s drift. Another artist is senior Nora Kreml, who has three pieces on display at the show.

“I have a strong attraction to the ideas of mapping, history and international perceptions throughout time, and (I) attempt to bring these ideas into my work,” Kreml said.

Kreml entered her work in part because of the free publicity, citing expensive entry fees for shows in the real world. But she does have another, more enlightening goal.

“What I hope people can get out of my work is different perspectives of known preconceptions,” she said. “All of my work references something recognizable but changes the context in which it is viewed.”

Those perceptions range from those of people seeking world conquest to children’s adventures in their backyards.

“One of the pieces, ‘The Child’s Adventure,’ deals with the idea we had as kids that if we dug straight through the earth, we could get to China,” Kreml said. “Even if it were possible to dig through the earth, we would end up in the Indian Ocean. But we still all loved to believe that we could go anywhere with the right amount of gumption.”

The display will remain in Aliber until April 27 so that any student walking through will get the chance to see it.

“There is nothing quite like viewing a piece of art in person,” Spitz said.

The main event will take place tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. on the third floor of Aliber Hall. There will be refreshments, and there will be an announcement for best in show at 6 p.m.



  1. Milo! February 23, 2012

    Why not leave the display open thru the end of Relays weekend, so visitors can see it?

  2. Molly February 28, 2012

    The artwork is currently on the 3rd floor of Aliber. I don’t believe a lot of visitors will be up there during relays. The artwork also needs to be removed so it can be available during class critiques for finals.

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