The Birke Art Gallery has been named one of “West Virginia’s 10 Contemporary Art Galleries You Should Visit,” by global art, food, culture and travel website The Culture Trip.
London-based author Vincent Wood said it was the gallery’s public display of student art that piqued his interest and solidified the Birke’s spot on the list he compiled.
“It was this combination of promoting the arts and education and helping unestablished artists in their initial steps into the art world whilst still being an open forum that caught my attention,” Wood said.
Jessica Long, director of the Birke Art Gallery, said the Birke promotes students’ work and professional development.
“The Birke Art Gallery is a great place for other students and members of the community to gather and see what we as a department are capable of doing,” Long said. “At the same time, we also like to have at least one exhibit per year showing the work of bigger-name artists, so that the students can immerse themselves in how working artists operate and present their art.”
Long said the extra space provided by the Visual Arts Center (opening this summer) will give the School of Art and Design a more visible presence in the community while allowing a greater variety of work from artists of all disciplines to be shown at the Gallery.
“With the opening of the new Visual Arts Center, it’s my hope to curate a number of shows at the Birke Art Gallery that feature everything from drawing to sculpture, as well as work directly from area secondary schools and The Huntington Museum of Art,” Long said.
She said visiting Marshall University’s galleries stands to create a tighter relationship among area artists while also promoting a more closely knit community.
“It’s important to me that the people of Huntington are able to see what’s new with our program, and that students and faculty are available on-site to answer questions and discuss their work with anyone who is curious,” she said. “A greater interest in the arts is fostered when both the art and artist are in the center of everything.”
See the full list by The Culture Trip at www.theculturetrip.com.