Beyond books

While the Union closed its art gallery doors this semester, U students have a new place to find and display art.

The Marriott Library is beginning its new program, “Arts in the Library,” which will not only display art throughout the building, but also host performances and films in the Gould Auditorium and outside.

On Aug. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Gould Auditorium, organizers will host a reception to open their first show titled, “What Is Art?”

“We wanted to have an eclectic mix of art for our first show so that we didn’t limit ourselves in the future,” said Greg Hatch, an instruction librarian and originator of the Arts in the Library program.

The show will feature the media of film, photography, blown glass, dance, digital media, painting and sculpture.

While many different forms of art will be showcased, the art form that Hatch was involved with will not be. He served as a stage manager in theater in the past, and he said his background with the arts is what inspired him to devise this idea. While the arts committee accepts work from all U community members, its mission statement focuses on student art.

“If we have two people who want to display their art at the same time, priority will be given to students and then spiral from there to faculty and staff and then to community members,” Hatch said.

However, he said because of the size of the library, he doubts that conflict will ever occur.

Display space will be available in the third-floor atrium, the grand staircase on the second floor and the multimedia center on the first floor.

However, the library isn’t the only place displaying student art. Though the Union closed its gallery, Union administrators still want to see art in the building. The two display cases on the second floor, one located in the main-entrance foyer and the other located near the Saltair Room will also display art.

“The cases are well-located and in- your-face, so you don’t have to go searching for art in the Union anymore,” said Sheri Young, who is the Union administrative assistant and the marketing and Web site subcommittee chairperson for the Arts in the Library committee.

Young became involved when the first planning stages for the committee began about 18 months ago. She met many of the librarians involved through the yoga class she teaches at the U.

Because of her experience in helping run the Union art gallery, the library committee spoke with her and eventually chose her because of her history with finding student art.

“Everything just came together to fit in this perfect ball,” she said.

Young now hopes that the collaboration of the committee members produces something “great.”

“This is our first stab at it, so we’ll see how it goes,” she said.

The program will continue throughout the year, but in the future, Hatch said he hopes to see the way art is displayed at the library change in big ways.

“As soon as the Legislature gives us money for renovations, we want to create better and more space for art in the library,” he said.

The committee has already drafted a document for the architects with members’ opinions about how art should be displayed, and plans for new semi-portable display cases is already in the works, Hatch said.

The committee would like to see more open wall space and the possibility of turning the atrium into a performance space.”As soon as we get the money, we’ll do it,” he said.

But he knows that the possibility of getting funding is slim.

“My hopes are high about getting it,” he said, “but my doubts are as well.”

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