The Lora Robins Gallery was abuzz.
In the corner of the room, junior Katherine Malanoski told a story about what her 6-year-old self wanted to be. In the exhibit space, senior Surabhi Gupta drew a picture. Students hovered around a macaroni and cheese bar as the Sirens, Richmond’s all-female a cappella group, filtered in the entrance to prepare for a performance. The University Museums’ College Night 2016 had begun.
The event, now in its fourth year, is held annually to highlight a specific exhibit, which, for one night, is open only to students. This year, it highlighted “Tell Me a Story,” an exhibit curated by the students in Elizabeth Schlatter’s Museum Studies seminar — senior Tim Gruber, junior Megan Strickland, sophomores Emma Felt and Miranda Rosenblum, and freshman Laura Dickie.
The class placed binders in front of the art on display and asked visitors to write or draw stories in response. This format, Schlatter said, allowed the students to engage visitors.
“We’re just thinking about making art accessible,” she said.
Basing the evening on the theme of storytelling, the event featured “Secretly Y’all,” an open microphone for students to tell stories, whether in oral or musical form. After Malanoski told her story, Christian Park, a sophomore, performed a song he wrote called “Passion,” and Jordan Chavez, a senior, spoke on his running experience. Chavez was encouraged by Gruber, his roommate, to attend.
“It’s a cool concept,” Chavez said. “It’s my first time in the gallery, but I love it.”
Like Chavez, Michelle Shuman, a senior in attendance, had never been to the gallery before. She liked the interactive nature of the exhibit.
“It makes us creators,” she said. “It asks us to be active.”
The exhibit is on display at the gallery until May 13. The gallery is open Sunday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact reporter Damian Hondares at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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