Gallery construction underway

Gallery construction underway

By Anne Baker and Michele Richinick

After months of untangling red tape, the construction for Northeastern’s new art gallery is underway, said former Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President for Student Services Chris Bourne.

‘It was kind of a process of waiting,’ said Bourne, who worked on the project during his time as SGA vice president. ‘It was kind of waiting for paperwork to go through, and as soon as it did, they wanted to start.’

The gallery, called Gallery 360, will be located in the Ell Concourse between Ell Hall and the Curry Student Center (CSC). It will use the entire hall space, with a glass display along the corridor and a large room at the end of the hall near Blackman Auditorium, said current SGA Vice President for Student Services Ryan Fox.

The renovation will move the former art area from its corner space on the first floor of CSC to the Ell Concourse.

University officials chose the concourse because ‘the area needed to be cleaned up anyway,’ said Bob Grier, director of operations for CSC.

‘Right there you have Blackman Auditorium, which is basically the front door of the university,’ Grier said. ‘That is a good place to do some improvements – a good first step. At least the university has a place where they can say, ‘This is the gallery.”

Funding for the project came from the university-wide budget allotment for student center renovations, Bourne said, and he thinks it is well worth the cost.

‘We needed a better space to show the arts on campus,’ Bourne said. ‘The former space was not really the best space for an art gallery – there was no real wall space. As an art gallery, it really wasn’t the most useful space. The new space will be much more utilized.’

However, not everyone at the university is excited about the new gallery. The university’s Pep Band, Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra previously used the concourse as office space. The bands, which are temporarily located in the former art gallery, will soon move into a new office in 146 CSC, which previously was home to SuperCuts.

‘It is definitely a big deal [to move],’ Jason Silverberg, the director of the Pep Band. ‘It’s already happened once. ‘hellip; That was a pain because we have a lot of stuff and a lot of equipment. We will have to do that again in the next couple of days.’

David Salerno, the Pep Band president, said the bands are gaining 27 square feet in floor space, but losing 1512 cubic feet in their new space due to a reduction in height, space which the bands used for shelving in their original office.

Silverberg said the biggest damage the move has inflicted is on the Pep Band’s enthusiastic attitude.

‘It’s not going to destroy us, but it’s a big hit to morale,’ he said. ‘It makes us feel unappreciated. We’ve had that office for 45 years, so there’s a lot of history.’

Fox and Bourne both said they have been working to ensure a smooth transition for the bands, but believe the art gallery is important for the university.

Northeastern has never had a true art gallery, said Grier, who also chairs the committee who initiated the project.

‘[Before the renovation,] we basically had a room that showed displays,’ he said.

Until recently, the student art gallery was in a glass room in the corner of the first floor of the student center.

‘It will be a nice improvement to that corridor and a place where people can go reflect,’ he said.

The committee is planning a grand opening, forming a mission statement and trying to set up an advisory board committee to take students’ art applications and coordinate exhibits, Grier said.

The gallery is important because there is much art that should be presented to the Northeastern community, said Dominique McCadden, a member of the initiative committee.

‘There will be a lot more structure than there is now,’ McCadden said.

The name ‘Gallery 360,’ plays off of 360 Huntington Avenue, the university’s address and the 360 degree circumference of a circle.

‘Hopefully this one will be more dynamic and more people will want to have their art in this gallery,’ McCadden said.

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