A little something for everyone


Zach Mazur and Kendra Fleharty measure out the gallery displays.

The WSU Museum of Art has received more than 500 works of art since 2012.

From these works, several students and the museum curators selected about 50 pieces of art to be shown in the museum’s new exhibit, “From the collection: New Acquisitions.”

“The amount of gifts we receive over the years, and the quality, has been huge,” said Ann Saberi, assistant curator at the museum. “We’ve received a lot of generous gifts over the years.”

Zach Mazur, curator of education and collections at the museum, said the purpose of the exhibit is to both show off the work given to the museum, and give the Fine Arts 490 interns an opportunity to work with the art.

“We use this collection to honor the collectors, and I use it to teach the 490 students,” Mazur said.

He said this exhibit is run almost completely by the students, and that the museum staff are there for advice and assistance when needed.

“(The student interns) get to apply everything they learn, then they get to design the exhibit,” Mazur said. “They get to go through every step.”

The museum has had collection exhibits in the past, usually every couple of years, Mazur said.

Ryan Hardesty, curator of art and exhibitions, said summer is a great time for an exhibit like this.

“Summer is when we take a few more risks, letting the students take a little more control,” Mazur added.

Kendra Fleharty, a senior English major, is one of the students involved in the new exhibit, putting the skills she learned in the Fine Arts internship class to the test.

“It’s a lot of kind of figuring out the space, how we want (visitors) to move through the show,” she said. “We have the show grouped by donors; we want to display them on the wall to give an open and inviting feel.”

Haley Markham, a senior art history major, explained how the students created the initial exhibit layout on Adobe InDesign CC, but when actually putting the art up on the walls, they had to make some changes.

“We want (the exhibit) to have a cohesive feel,” she said. “We started with layout on InDesign, but when we started bring in the work in, we had to change the design.”

Fleharty added that the layout and visual appeal of the art is different on the computer screen than on the gallery wall itself.

Debby Stinson, marketing and public relations manager with the museum, said one of the most difficult parts of this exhibit is selecting paintings to go on display from the hundreds the museum has received in the last few years. She added that some of these images have never been shown in this gallery space, and some have never been on display at all.

“It’s very exciting to let the public see these,” she said. “It has a wonderful variety.”

The main goal of this exhibit it to show off the art gifted to the museum, Hardesty said.

From the more than 500 new pieces, the museum staff selected a variety of media and styles, said Jonathan Matteson, museum curatorial assistant.

“The trick of laying it out has been tough, because the theme is acquisitions, not landscapes or portraits,” he said. “We have a lot of decisions about how we want the art to be seen. We see (the gallery) as a big canvas.”

This exhibit can be described as a collaborative effort, between the different types of art, between the different collectors’ donations, and between the students and the staff, Saberi said.

“From the collection: New acquisitions” will be displayed through July 1. The Museum of Art summer gallery hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Admission is free.