Art gallery breaks ground

Courtesy Photo

Brusly Voong, Staff Writer

Soon, the new art gallery that is currently under construction will take over the reins as the newest building on the Cosumnes River College campus.

Construction for the new $2.5 million building began in early June and is expected to be completed by the end of spring semester, according to Cory Wathen, the director of Administrative Services. The new gallery is being built alongside the Visual and Performing Arts Center, located east of parking lot A and the west entrance of the campus.

“It is something that the art faculty have been wanting to do for at least the last seven or eight years, probably more than that,” said Torence Powell, dean of the Communication, Visual and Performing Arts department. “It’s been something the art faculty has really been pushing for.”

The process for any construction on campus is a lengthy one.

All campus buildings follow the same standard procedure of being publicly funded through bond measures. The new art gallery was no exception to this rule.

“Several years ago, we put out the bond measure and it was voted on by taxpayers and the CRC district and they approved it,” Powell said.

The need for an art gallery stems from the fact that there is insufficient space to display student artwork.

“We have a limited space for window displays along the art rooms,” Wathen said. “The community needs one in the area I think, in the Elk Grove/South Sacramento area, because I’m not familiar with any [art gallery] in the area. It’s something that will be a benefit to the campus and community as well.”

The art gallery will serve as both a gallery in the traditional sense and learning space for students, faculty and artists.

An art gallery on campus provides a much more convenient way for students to learn, including learning how to set up a gallery or an exhibit.

“Right now, students can get that kind of experience, but they would have to load their stuff and drive out to Davis,” Powell said. “Students will be able to do that here as a learning experience.”

Ensuring students have the opportunities to work in a gallery space has been designed into the gallery’s features.

“It’s going to be a nice place,” said Art Professor Margaret Woodcock. “There’s going to be 2000 square feet of exhibition space, high ceilings, so that artists can do large-scale work and so that we can show large-scale kinds of artwork in there.”

Showing off the different kinds of art through exhibits is only one goal of the gallery. Woodcock and others are hoping the gallery will leave a longer lasting effect upon visitors.

“It helps people to have an open-mindedness about art and what art can be,” Woodcock said. “It gives us a bigger picture of the world, so that we can be more accepting of each other.”