Purdue University Northwest welcomes new CHESS gallery coordinator

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STUDENT RYAN STEPHENS and gallery coordinator Morganne Wakefield admire a photograph in the CHESS Gallery.

Purdue University Northwest’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences Art Gallery welcomed Morganne Wakefield as the new gallery coordinator for the new academic year.

Wakefield, communication visiting instructor at the university, had previous experience as the coordinator in 2017.

“I picture the gallery as a space for students and a place where people can come to talk about art or even to work on their own art,” Wakefield said.

Dr. Thomas J. Roach, department chair of the Communication and Creative Arts Department at PNW, looks forward to the year with Wakefield as the coordinator.

“She did this for us two years ago and she did a great job,” Roach said. “I am very excited she’s back.”

Wakefield will continue the existing schedule for the fall semester, starting with the Day of the Dead show in October. Her curation will start in January, where she has several shows plan for the spring semester.

“There will be a painting exhibition in January, followed by an exhibition of student-work made during the Paris Maymester 2019 trip,” Wakefield said. “I have a sculpture exhibition planned for April.”

Ryan Stephens, PNW communication student, looks forward to the future of the gallery.

“The CHESS Gallery is important to me because it is a space that cultivates academic discussion about art. Anyone can come to the gallery and experience the point of views of others,” Stephens said. “I noticed that when I am there, I do more listening than I do speaking. It’s one of the places in my life where my mind is most open.”

Wakefield wants students to understand the importance of art and the importance of the gallery.

“We live in a world saturated with images that work on our subconscious all the time and if you understand the world of the visual, that’s an incredible amount of power to have,” Wakefield said.

Wakefield believes that the basic skills of making art and the methods of reading art can be taught. She will have workshops in the future that will be open to the community and students.

“Art is a language that can be understood and enjoyed. Creating art is a form of visual problem solving—which is often the source of its frustration,” Wakefield said. “It’s also what makes art fun.”

Stephens looks most forward to the Open Mic Nights that take place at the gallery, where artists can come and share their music, poetry or even their art. The date for Open Mic Night is still being determined.

“I don’t think there is enough emphasis placed on how open and welcoming this event is,” Stephens said. “All art and media forms are appreciated.”

Those interested in the gallery can email chessartgallery@pnw.edu or follow the Facebook page at @ChessGalleryPNW.

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