From ETSU art and design students to visiting artists, Slocumb Galleries, located in the lobby of Ball Hall, will present an estimated 50 shows each year.
So far this semester, Kelly Porter has presented the “Signs and Relics” exhibition at the Slocumb Galleries, and downtown Johnson City’s Tipton Gallery is currently showcasing the “30th Annual Positive/Negative National Juried Art Exhibition.”
According to Karlota Contreras-Koterbay, director of Slocumb Galleries, 35 percent of shows will consist of student work and there will be at least 10-15 visiting artists per year.
“The gallery serves a purpose for their graduation so BFA and MFA students are required to have a show,” Contreras-Koterbay said.
However, she said normally student shows aren’t featured as much because the Slocumb Galleries are primarily a teaching tool.
“It’s part of their education in a way by seeing how other artists hang their work,” Contreras-Koterbay said.
She said students should ask themselves about the artists’ subject matter, what material they use and how they are able to manipulate materials to their advantage.
“So they kind of see a lot of different options that they’re not necessarily handling in class,” Contreras-Koterbay said.
In the past, she has seen several BFA shows in which students will use similar materials in their own artwork.
“After a few years, I can see some of the materials that we kind of saw in some of the visiting artists that will show up every now and then, so I feel like they are learning out of it,” Contreras-Koterbay said.
Visiting artists also have the opportunity to present lectures and critiques to offer students further advice.
The art department focuses on nine areas: photography, painting, sculpting, print making, drawing, graphic design and work in jewelry, metal and fiber materials.
“What I’m trying to do is really address all of those issues, so if I have a painting show this semester, then I’ll have a ceramic show next semester,” Contreras-Koterbay said.
In contrast with the Slocumb Galleries, the Tipton Gallery is mainly a student show space.
“Throughout the years, it is more accessible to the community,” Contreras-Koterbay said. “We also kind of use it, as kind of like an exhibit lab.”
Two student curators, Lyn Govette and Jess Hillyer, will help co-curate an upcoming exhibition called “Behind the Lens: Women Photographers on the South and Appalachia” on March 6. In the gallery internship program, students learn how to curate shows, how to write press releases and gain professional experience.
“We have a very strong community presence here but also at Tipton,” Contreras-Koterbay said.