New Building, Same "Charm"
By Tara Guaimano
Steel Plant Studios existed as a powerhouse for the creative cycle. A raw nature of pre and post production lied between those same four walls—separated only by a few room dividers restricted by the ceiling’s exposed duct work.
And it still does, only down the street. This time with a few more walls—and the same culture of convergence and collaborative inspiration.
The building’s exposed ceiling ductwork and innate openness has been temporarily replaced with a studio and gallery space at 51 Fulton St.—still carrying the same quality of faculty, students, workspace and “charm.”
“I think, thanks to the faculty and gallery staff, it retains the charm of the old gallery,” said Tara James, sophomore Coordinator of the Steel Plant Art Gallery. “The first few weeks of school was a lot of cleaning and organizing, but now it’s just like the old gallery.”
“I have been doing art since I can remember, both in my free time and in school,” said James. As an Honors student and a Studio Art and Psychology double major, she works as the student face behind this year’s series of production.
“The space is very pleasant and highly useful for our purposes,” said Ed Smith, Professor of Art and Gallery Director. “The interim gallery has wonderful light and great access.”
The 51 Fulton St. gallery space delivers the same open nature with opening garage windows that extend the gallery events with patio access. “I really enjoy the large studio space on the third floor, the openness and windows, and the overall newness and modernness of the whole building,” continued James.
“The most noticeable difference is the size,” she said, as the new space is smaller than the old gallery.
Smith and James have crafted the vibe of the gallery into a classic approach of observation and admiration of multifaceted art. As Smith claims, they are up to “great things as usual.”
“My colleagues and I are busy with new initiatives and the students are gearing up for their Junior Critiques,” Smith continued.
James has carried her hard work in the art department to taking up this new administrative position as the Coordinator. “It includes sending e-mails to the gallery staff, finding people to work certain jobs, setting up exhibits, working openings, and making sure everything gets done that needs to.”
James expressed her excitement for the building of the new Steel Plant Studios, scheduled to open in August 2018. “We will combine with the fashion program, so there will be a lot more going on in the building.”
It will feature “a warehouse-like, industrial aesthetic,” as according to construction updates on Marist Connect, continuing to advance the overall aura of the environment.
“Even in the transition to 51 Fulton, I think the art program has begun to expand, as there is much more room to work,” she said. “The renovated Steel Plant will further this expansion of our program, and add some more appeal to prospective studio art students.”
The last gallery exhibition was titled NON FINITO, featuring the work of faculty member Lois Walsh, opened on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and will continue running until Dec. 9. “We look forward to seeing you for what promises to be a fine show of paintings by this respected colleague,” said Smith.
The new temporary art building is located at 51 Fulton, across the street from the Fulton parking lot.