Did You Know?: Purdue's galleries

January 16, 2015  

Fountain gallery

"Pine App," left, and "Six Lacy Cubes," right, will appear in "MATERIALIZE," an exhibition of Florida artist's McArthur Freeman II's work, in Fountain Gallery. The exhibition will take place Jan. 13-Feb. 21. Part of Purdue Galleries, Fountain Gallery is at 330 Main St., Lafayette. (Photo provided)
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Purdue's four art galleries -- including one in downtown Lafayette -- alternately serve as teaching and learning spaces for the University's faculty and students and as cultural resources locally and statewide.

The Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries consist of east and west galleries in Pao Hall, and they are overseen by Liz Erlewine, gallery coordinator. Purdue Galleries consist of the Robert L. Ringel Gallery in Stewart Center and the Fountain Gallery at 330 Main St., Lafayette. Craig Martin, director of Purdue Galleries, oversees them.

The Rueff Galleries serve a primarily teaching and learning mission, Erlewine says. The displays in the east and west galleries are typically created by Purdue students or faculty members, or they involve students and faculty in integral roles, including as curators.

Rueff Galleries

This image of two strangers holding hands will appear in "Touching Strangers," an exhibition of photographic art by New York photographer Richard Renaldi, in the Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries. The exhibition will take place Jan. 12-Feb. 6. The galleries are located on the first floor of Pao Hall. (Photo provided) 
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The Rueff Galleries typically present 24 shows each academic year, Erlewine says. The displays represent work in the art, design, theatre, dance and music disciplines.

Shows typically last for one or two weeks. For example, students seeking Master of Fine Arts degrees must design and install their own weeklong shows, and near the end of the semester, the Rueff Galleries display them. The galleries' schedule is determined about a year in advance, and variety of themes and displays is key, Erlewine says.

The Rueff Galleries' spring 2015 exhibition schedule can be found here.

"I'm proud that the Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries provide a hands-on space for students to learn the nitty-gritty details of creating and installing a solo show," Erlewine says.

"In turn, our galleries allow students to experience their peers' expertise as well as, when we have curated shows, that of professional artists. It's all part of our teaching and learning mission."

Shows in the Purdue Galleries typically last a bit longer -- about six weeks, Martin says. The Purdue Galleries host eight shows each academic year, and the theme of each show usually has a direct tie to an element of curriculum on the West Lafayette campus.

The work of national and international artists is displayed in the Purdue Galleries. Shows often are the results of collaboration with other campus entities, Martin says. For example, the Quilt National '13 show that was displayed last semester was in collaboration with the Center for Families, in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

Purdue Galleries' exhibition schedule is typically determined about two years in advance, Martin says. Show themes are determined based on proposals Martin receives as well as collaborative ideas from others on campus. Variety is a major consideration; Martin says he's always looking for shows that incorporate unique and novel definitions of art.

For example in 2016, Purdue Galleries will feature an exhibition called "Skillshot," which will highlight the art, design and technology of pinball machines.

Purdue Galleries aim to serve as a cultural resource for those who live locally and across the state, Martin says. In particular, the Fountain Gallery provides a space in the heart of Lafayette for residents to experience art and culture.

"The Purdue Galleries and the Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries are free and open to the public," Martin says. "That's a big part of our mission -- to provide art experiences in public spaces, and to invite people to reconsider what art is and how it intersects with daily learning and life."

Purdue Galleries' spring 2015 exhibition schedule can be found here.

Writer: Amanda Hamon Kunz, 49-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu 

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