Art Dept. welcomes community
By welcoming people into her world, Lena Ellis-Boatman hopes to open their eyes to everything it has to offer.
The graduate student said by helping to organize MSU Open Studios, an event that invites community members to explore Kresge Art Center, she plans to bring attention to the Department of Art and Art History and those people who are a part of it.
“There’s the level of getting student work out there, (and) there’s the sense of opening up the building and the department to new visitors,” she said. “There’s also the idea of building a community within our department.”
The free event, which was organized by the Graduate Events Committee along with undergraduate and studio art groups, will take place from 5-8 p.m. Thursday in Kresge Art Center.
Various student art organizations will have tables set up offering information about their groups, and there also will be a ceramics and screen printing demonstration.
Art will be on display throughout the halls of the building, and attendees will be able to tour the graduate and undergraduate student studios and talk to the artists while viewing their work.
Art history and visual culture and German junior Ellen Meeuwsen said she is looking forward to having the chance to interact with the students who are responsible for creating the art she sees at Kresge Art Center.
“We have really great student exhibits, but to see the process of those works being made and being able to talk to the artist next to the works they made is exciting,” she said.
Meeuwsen said the opportunity to mingle with the artists in this way provides event attendees with a behind-the-scenes look they normally would not experience.
“It allows people to see what studio artists are actually doing day to day,” she said. “It gives them an opportunity to see a lot of things that we wouldn’t be able to see in an exhibit space from time to time.”
Assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History Paul Kotula said Thursday’s event will provide students with a chance to show the community what they have been working on while in the department.
“This is an opportunity for the public to come to the Kresge Art Center to get into the studios to see what the graduate students have been doing and also to see what the undergraduates have been producing,” he said.
As a member of MSU’s Art History Association, one of the many student groups that will be present at the event, Meeuwsen said she also is looking forward to connecting with event attendees who have questions about the group.
Ellis-Boatman said the open house will be an opportune time for students such as Meeuwsen to share information about an organization they are a part of with other prospective members.
“They’re looking to be able to talk to current and possible potential students so they can let them know what their club is about,” she said. “It’s also good experience for them.”