Students should take better advantage of campus visual arts opportunities

As a college, Geneseo prides and markets itself as an environment for students to develop not only academically, but intellectually as well. The hope for students is that they will take advantage of their time here to expand their knowledge in their chosen field of study, but also in the cultural institutions that are imperative for development into a well-rounded individual who will succeed in their worldly endeavors.

One of the best on-campus ways for students to develop as individuals is through exposure to the visual and performing arts. Fortunately, opportunities for doing exactly this abound on the Geneseo campus. However, too often these opportunities are squandered by students who simply are not willing to take the time to utilize what they clearly fail to recognize as an incredible resource.

This is not to say that all opportunities for exposure to the fine arts are wasted by students; attendance at performing arts such as theatrical and music productions is frequently very high. Sadly, this cannot be said of the visual arts opportunities on campus, including the School of the Arts' Lederer, Lockhart and Bridge Galleries, and the Activities Commission-sponsored Kinetic Gallery.

Posters and e-mails frequently announce gallery openings, but too often these are ignored under the deluge of other messages students are exposed to every day.

These galleries, which frequently feature new exhibits, have various levels of attendance at different times. According to some individuals who work in the galleries, opening receptions often get good turnouts but many of these people are art students who are required to attend. Parents and guests at the College make up many of the other visitors to the galleries, and weekends often boast woefully few attendees at the galleries. The truly regrettable situation is that students outside the School of Arts make up a clear minority of those who do visit.

In certain instances, part of the problem can be attributed to location. The Bridge and Lederer Galleries are located in Brodie, far from where anyone but those with classes in the building would walk through them. The Lockhart Gallery, alternatively, is located on Main Street at a significant distance from the main part of campus. However, it the very fact that these galleries are located further from campus that should dictate that more students go out of their way to visit them. Students should not resign themselves to whatever galleries they might happen across in their daily walks across campus.

The harsh reality that we must face is that far, far too many of us simply take these galleries for granted. As students, there will be few other opportunities in our lifetime to have such a wide variety of visual art of often-stunning quality within such close proximity. Even in a cosmopolitan city setting with many museums, the necessary effort for exposure to such art is far greater than what is required of a Geneseo student to travel to these galleries on a regular basis.

For those wishing to begin taking advantage of the spectacular opportunity they've been presented with, check out the two shows opening today, the Juried Student Exhibition in the Lederer Gallery, and the Lockhart Gallery's "Girl Power: The Supremes As Cultural Icons," by collecting alumnus Thomas A Ingrassia ('74), who will be giving a talk at 4:30 p.m. Also, at the end of this month, don't miss the art department's graduating seniors' simultaneous show in the Kinetic, Lederer and Bridge Galleries.