Found in Georgetown University’s Walsh Building, the Spagnuolo Art Gallery has housed famed pieces by artists such as Andy Warhol. While the traffic at Walsh to view its galleries has been traditionally low, there has been a steady increase in viewership and donations over the past year.
Right now, Gallery Director Evan Reed estimates that the gallery receives 50-60 visitors each week.
“In the past it used to be that exhibitions were visited at the beginning basically, so the opening night and a few weeks into it and then it would taper off,” Reed said.
“I started doing visitor numbers a couple years ago and in conjunction with me trying to get a little more publicity for us out there, I have noticed that they have been going up. Not dramatically, but steadily. So on any given day, it really varies,” Carolanne Bonanno, the gallery’s assistant director and media contact, said.
The galleries try to attract more students by focusing the content of the exhibits around many different areas of study.
“We do collaborations with different departments. We’ve worked in the past with the Spanish and Portugese department, we’ve worked with the Classics, we’ve worked with science departments. The idea is to try to use the exhibitions as a teaching tool for the students, but not just the students in the studio arts,” Reed said.
“I love the art galleries on campus because they draw some much needed attention to art at Georgetown. Art has done so much for me throughout my four years in school as a creative outlet and I believe more students should get involved with art on some level and a great way to attract students is through the galleries,” Leah Life (COL ’15) said.
“We’ll vary the medium as well, so we’ll try to mix it up and do a photography show, then a painting show. So that way people that are within the department can see something relative to the course they’re taking at the time,” Bonanno said.
Although Reed would not give names or figures regarding donations to the gallery, he did say donations had been increasing.
“The donor has been generous and very supportive so we’ve gained bits and pieces over the years,” Reed said.
This year, the Senior Art Majors’ 2015 Exhibition, which will be on display in Spagnuolo until May 15, has some unique pieces, including several installations, which the Walsh gallery has not attempted in recent time.
“They do an installation of their work so it’s sort of an environment as opposed to looking at a static photograph or picture behind a frame. It’s going to be more immersive in some way. We have two digital artists that both work with still framed work and also video or animation. So it’s a different batch of folks this semester for sure,” Reed said.
“I am showing four pieces in the senior gallery. Each sculpture integrates two mediums within the sculpture discipline: steel, with either plaster or stone. As a pre-med double major in biology and art, I’m interested in the overlap between medicine and sculpture. My largest piece in the exhibition embodies this interest; Caged is a figure created out of steel rods with a plaster heart welded into the chest,” Life said.
The gallery houses exhibits for six to eight weeks and finds artists interested in contributing through a variety of methods.
“We do three exhibitions from artists that are not affiliated with the University, so professional artists, or we will do group shows. We have a dialogue with the faculty in the fine arts area, studio area and in the art history area. Some times people from those areas bring artists to me and see if we have room for them to do an exhibition, sometimes artists send their work to us and propose an exhibition, sometimes I get out and search for artists, so it’s a combination of a few things,” Reed said.
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