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Students Install Art in a U-Haul, Showcase Life’s Transitions

Belmont students in Assistant Professor of Art Christine Roger’s Photography 2 class showcased their “Curatorial Project” art exhibition, centered around transition and movement through space, in a U-Haul on Wednesday. Because art is becoming so experiential, Rogers said she gives her students the opportunity to curate their work into a cohesive exhibition to share with the larger community.

As students were broken up into groups for the assignment, they took the art they created throughout the semester and identified emerging themes. For this group, Rogers said the concept of transition became very apparent and the idea to showcase the art in a location based around movement was born.

“Students had to find a space to have their exhibition and through problem solving, an elegant solution emerged–to utilize a U-Haul as a site specific space for their installation,” Rogers said. “Since the show is about transition: movement through spaces, growing up, colors, the season of springtime, change and ideas of place, the U-Haul began to make even more sense as a space for a show.”

pop up gallery-107Despite the importance of learning to showcase art in a creative, relevant way, Rogers said the project also allows students to engage with art even further as they work in teams, engage collaboratively and think strategically. “I want students to learn that art is almost always about creating a conversation and that conversation can be held in a traditional institution such as a great cultural center, a museum or an established gallery,” Rogers said. “But it can also exist in a U-Haul, a street corner or a community center. Students can be part of the conversation right now and their images and voices are relevant to the conversation now, not just in an imagined future.”

Sophomore entertainment industry studies major and photography minor Madison Monroe is one of the artists whose work was on display. A New Orleans native, Monroe said she experienced hurricane Katrina on a personal level and wanted to illustrate the transition of her home after disaster struck. “I watched a once vibrant city turn dark, an image one does not forget. After the water had receded, and the cleanup began, the darkness turned into a washed out reminder of what used to be,” Monroe said. “I channeled this in my piece. In post production, I gave the photos a light wash to further show the destructive fading that occurred, to show ‘The muting of a colorful city.'”

Though the project was entirely student led, Monroe said she and her classmates are grateful for the guidance and mentorship Rogers provided each student artist. “She gave us the reins and told us to go, making it clear that this was our project, our exhibition that we were ready for and how proud we would be. Thanks to her, we did it.”

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