LookOut! Gallery showcases community art
Students who frequent the Gallery dining hall at Snyder-Phillips Hall might have wondered about the room on the upper level of the building that has a wall of glass. Behind it is the LookOut! Gallery, an art gallery that showcases pieces created by student, local and international artists.
Carolyn Loeb, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, is the director of the gallery. Loeb organizes the schedule and ensures there are always exhibitions on display.
“We have a wide range of exhibits that change monthly during academic year,” she said. “We show works by local artists, by international artists, historical works as well as contemporary, and all kinds of media and also works by our own faculty.”
Earlier this semester, LookOut! has had exhibits featuring quilts, a handmade paper and fiber sculpture, an installation piece addressing human trafficking and tapestries.
The “Tapestry as Testimony: Arpilleras of Chile” exhibit was curated by Eliana Loveluck last year in honor of the 40th anniversary of the military coup in that country.
“The art is ‘arpilleras’ which were made by women in Chile during the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet,” Loveluck said. “Those women were known as ‘arpilleristas’ and they chose to use the traditional art form of 'arpilleras' to depict the repression they experienced under the dictatorship. The exhibit is a historical depiction of life under the dictatorship over the course of 17 years, it tells that story.”
This exhibit ran from Nov. 3 to Nov. 21.
Loeb said there a variety of ways in which exhibits are selected.
“We have faculty on the staff who curate exhibits–that is they come up with an idea and they organize who’s going to be in the exhibition. We are sometimes approached by artists who are interested in showing their work,” she said.
Loeb said at the end of every semester, LookOut! has a show devoted to projects students have worked on. These projects range from paintings, photos, videos and everything in between.
“One of the exhibitions this semester will be a photovoice exhibition in which our students collaborated with youth from the Refugee Center in Lansing so we will be showing the photos they produced,” she said.
Steve Baibak, the gallery's preparator, said the annual "Emerging Visions" show will take place in January.
"We have two visiting artists coming from Brooklyn, and it's a show that opens on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and it's going to be a very interesting installation/performative show based on identity," he said.
Baibak said while student attendance varies on most events, this show will include workshops allowing students to help set up the show and be a part of it.
Another upcoming exhibition is the annual spring showing of student work. This event is organized by the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities Council.
“That’s generally the only other regular show that we have because the gallery is kind of an opportunity for our students and university community as a whole to see what other people outside RCAH and even outside the university are producing,” Loeb said.