Feature Story

The Art of Learning

October 9, 2014 – by Sara Jane Sheehan ’15

‘McCarthy Creek, Wrangell-St. Elias, Alaska,’ by Dwight Hiscano

OWU student Sarah Thomas works to prepare a photograph for exhibition during her gallery management class. Of the course, she says, ‘It feels more like an internship at the museum than a class, which I love.’ (Photo by Sara Jane Sheehan ’15)

Ohio Wesleyan University’s gallery management class teaches students the fine art of running a successful gallery or museum.

“This class is different because it’s more hands-on work,” says Sarah Thomas ’15 “So far I have helped pack away art from an exhibit, helped cut pictures for a new exhibit, traveled to a gallery to help choose the pictures for a new show, and visited a gallery opening in Columbus.”

Thomas, a medieval studies major with minors in journalism, history, and humanities, says she wants to pursue a career in the museum field, and this class has helped her explore her options.

Justin Kronewetter, director of the Richard M. Ross Art Museum, shows how to properly prepare art for exhibition during his gallery management class. (Photo by Sara Jane Sheehan ’15)

Justin Kronewetter, director of OWU’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum, has been teaching the gallery management class for about 15 years.

“They are getting an insider’s view of what goes on behind the scenes of a museum or an art gallery,” Kronewetter says of his students.

‘Upper Antelope Canyon,’ by Rick Buchanan

Currently, they are putting together an exhibition in Gallery 2001, located inside Beeghly Library. “Waterscapes: Transforming the Landscape” will feature photographs by Columbus, Ohio, artist Rick Buchanan. The display ties into the theme of this year’s Sagan National Colloquium, “H2OWU: Water in Our World.”

Kronewetter says his students are curating the exhibition. They previously met with the artist and picked out the pieces for display, and they currently are framing the photographs and hanging them in the gallery. He says the students do not always have an opportunity to be this hands-on in a project, as the artists usually are not based locally.

Kronewetter says the students have needed to be flexible in order to gain the real-life experience of working in a gallery because things do not always happen during their class period.

Thomas agrees. “It feels more like an internship at the museum than a class, which I love,” she says.

‘McCarthy Creek, Wrangell-St. Elias, Alaska,’ by Dwight Hiscano

The students also will get to meet with the artist again when Buchanan comes to campus to discuss his photography. Buchanan will give a public artist talk at 7:30 p.m. October 24 in the Bayley Room on the second floor of the library. His “Waterscapes” exhibition will open October 13 and run through December 18.

During the same period, a second water-themed exhibit will be on display in the Alumni Gallery inside the Mowry Alumni Center. This exhibit will feature works by professional photographer Dwight Hiscano, OWU Class of 1985. Hiscano has said his images “humbly attempt to reflect and depict the perfection with which the Earth was created.”

Learn more about both photographers and their artwork at www.rickbuchananphotography.com and www.dwighthiscano.com. Learn more about all Ohio Wesleyan art exhibitions at https://www.owu.edu/about/offices-services/richard-m-ross-art-museum/.