The Art Gallery provides an intellectual space for students, artists, museum professionals, art administrators, scholars and others who seek to learn more about global legacies of art-making processes and art historical scholarship. The gallery works closely with the collection and archives, both of which focus on the collection and preservation of artists’ papers from Louisiana-based artists, African Diaspora artists and a broad selection of international diaspora artists.
The gallery enables students to participate in a first-hand engagement with the broad, diverse collection of works of art from the University collections and the Archives, and facilitates research and instruction on artists’ processes and theoretical concerns. Students benefit from public programs organized by the Gallery and Archives, as well as from the contextual materials that form a critical component of special exhibitions and publications. In addition, students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience as interns and scholars, through the art department and gallery, and through affiliated programs such as The Mellon/Mays CURGO Grants, the HBCU Professional Pathways Program, and the UNCF Mellon/Mays Scholars Program. Students also have opportunities to assist in the day-to-day activities of both the Collections and Gallery as interns or work study students. In particular, students have the opportunity to acquire the following valuable skills: curatorial research, collections management, fundraising for nonprofits, marketing strategies for the arts, the development and implementation of exhibition tours for students of all ages and the general public, exhibition installation skills, and the development and implementation of public programming events.
The gallery also works to enhance teaching methodology by incorporating practical and experiential learning with material culture into the methods of teaching. To this end, the gallery works with partners in local and national community-based artist programs to enhance opportunities for students and community members to work together to use the arts as a tool of empowerment and to provide a unique educational link to African American visual and performative traditions through dialogue and diverse programming.