Wellesley’s Jewett Gallery Offers Student Artists Valuable Experience
Becky Parker has been to an art gallery before. Being a student at Wellesley College, she’s visited the Jewett Art Gallery, located right on the Wellesley campus.
But the college junior has never had her work displayed in one before. She never had a chance to work with a gallery and go through the exciting, and, at times, arduous process of putting together an exhibit. But that’s what makes the Jewett Art Gallery so unique.
“The whole purpose of the gallery is for students to install their work in a gallery and to get that experience,” said Jewett Gallery Director and Applied Arts Coordinator Clara Lieu. “Most people don’t get to experience that until after college and then when they do, they don’t know what to expect.
“We’re unique because a lot of galleries are either completely hands-on or don’t let students display their work. I feel we have the perfect blend between interacting with them and letting them work independently.”
And so Parker, along with eight of her fellow classmates, began preparing for their first art exhibit, the “350: Student Exhibition,” which began showing Tuesday, April 20 and will run through Friday, April 30.
The gallery is constantly preparing for new exhibits. One of Jewett’s larger exhibits, “Transformations,” which portrayed work from local artists, as well as some from outside the state, just ended last month. The gallery also displays work from the various professors at the school about two or three times a year.
And at some point in the middle of May, Wellesley seniors Ji Lim and Tamara Al-Mashouk will get a chance to present their work during the “Senior Thesis Exhibit.” That exhibit will be followed by another student presentation called “It’s Personal: Student Photography Exhibition” by E. B. Bartels and Eleri Roberts.
The date and times for the two student exhibits will be based on when they finish their projects.
For the Wellesley students it’s a great opportunity to showcase their work for their professors, the community, as well as their peers.
“The process of seeing the independent work go from the studio space to the public gallery space has been thrilling because it changed my experience with the art work,” Parker said. “The gallery allowed me to have a broader perspective on the relationship between, not only the pieces from individual artists, but also the pieces between artists.”
The exhibitions, which are open to the public, show a variety of different artistic outlets, whether it be paintings, sculptures, or any other creative venue the artist can devise. But that experience of working in a gallery is invaluable to these student-artists.
“It’s unusual for a gallery to give students an intimate view of the gallery process,” Lieu said. “The students have some supervision and we work with them, helping them to write artist statements and layout. It’s a great opportunity for the students to see their work; it’s fairly unique.”
“This was my first time working in a gallery setting and I’m very excited about how the show has turned out and my experience working with the gallery,” Parker said.
“350: Student Exhibition” installed in the gallery