| 03.18.2018

Bop it, twist it, pull it?


The Prichard Art Gallery prepares for its next exhibit, “All Mixed Up’

Kyle Pfannenstiel


The Prichard Art Gallery debuted its new exhibit, “All Mixed Up” by Stephen Glueckert Aug. 17.

Glueckert will also give a presentation at the gallery at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Much of the artist’s featured work has arrows indicating they can be played with and touched. Director Roger Rowley said the purpose of this is to get viewers familiar with the idea of interacting with the art presentation. He said many of the pieces include hand-cranks and other simple, moveable objects.

“The traditional idea that a visitor coming into a gallery will have is that you’re not supposed to touch anything,” Rowley said. “You’re supposed to be quiet. You’re supposed to just look.”

The physical engagement with the artwork, Rowley said, helps to break down the barrier between passive viewers observing artwork by getting them involved with the mostly news-based narratives. These narratives, in combination with the crude and rough carving, make the art more accessible, he said. However, he said not everything is meant to be handled, and gallery work-study students will be trained to tell visitors what can and can’t be touched.

This isn’t the only time the Prichard Art Gallery has had a physically engaging exhibit. Rowley said there was once an exhibit with stackable chairs without a seat bottom. He said some who visited only stacked three chairs while others stayed for longer and rearranged the more than 80 chairs. The gallery has a time-lapse video of the entire chair exhibit.

In addition to viewings, the gallery offers a few educational opportunities like school group tours, summer camps and an after-school art program, Rowley said.

The school group tours bring in roughly 1000 K-12 students annually, he said, and the program allows them to tour the gallery’s exhibit and participate in craft activities in the back. Rowley said School Group Tours help teachers meet state educational requirements by covering different areas of artistic practices.

Most of the participating schools are either regionally based, from Moscow, or visiting due to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

“Depending on the year we’ve spent close to $1,500 for their transportation to help pay for their trips because, say, Idaho pays for a teacher to take one field trip per year,” Rowley said.

The After School Art Program (ASAP) allows children between the ages of 5 and 11 to take art classes led by local volunteer artists, Rowley said. The classes are held in the gallery’s children’s studio, and he said the artists teach 40 to 50 students annually.

This year, volunteer artists receive the student’s class fees as reimbursement, Rowley said. The cost for one student is $125 per camp. Rowley said these classes used to be led by a full-time educational coordinator, but the position was cut last year due to a lack of funding.

The Prichard Art Gallery also holds various week-long summer camps open to students entering grades 1-7.

Kyle Pfannenstiel can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @pfannyyy

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