Posted on September 4, 2017 at 3:58 PM by Jami Milne
The ReACT Gallery
The first week back on campus is tough. The road construction around Ames and new site development within campus certainly doesn’t make the transition any more pleasant. With a brand new schedule of classes to puzzle in with your work, social life and personal time, it’s easy to avoid getting involved with a new initiative on campus. And, if you’re not already familiar with the University Museums, it’s even easier to pay no attention to our upcoming launch of the ReACT Gallery.
However, the ReACT logo is hard to ignore. A scribbled mess that somewhat resembles a speech bubble… the word “react” clear overtop… the “ACT” in all caps...
What does that mean?
The ReACT Gallery, located in the basement of Morrill Hall (which also houses the Christian Petersen Art Museum), invites the ISU community to engage themselves in current events issues in a unique setting. This will be a safe area for visitors to respectfully express their viewpoint on a particular current events issue or, on the other hand, learn about that issue and formulate a viewpoint on it. More importantly, this will be an approachable opportunity for irregular museum visitors to become more involved with fine visual arts. All too often I hear people say that they don’t “get” art and that museums are “boring.” Similarly, I hear that current events are “too difficult to understand,” and “not all that important.” The ReACT Gallery is a resource for you to change those attitudes through an interactive museum experience. Although there will be four pre-planned exhibitions, the ReACT Gallery is intended to present issues of public concern. What the ISU community feels is an important topic to discuss and react to will be the exhibitions prepared for the ReACT Gallery. Talk to us!
Visitors can respond to the issues presented within the exhibit in the interACT section of the gallery, and they can also leave the exhibit with something from the ACTion section. For the upcoming leadership exhibit (September 5 - 29, 2017), visitors will have the option to snap a picture at the photobooth, write and share who is a leader or what leadership is to them on the gallery walls, and snag a book list about leadership that Parks Library put together or a list of contact information for government representatives. The ReACT Gallery wants to hear your thoughts on the planned exhibitions as well as exhibitions you want to see planned.
What I most want people to take away from the ReACT Gallery, or even this blog post, is that this gallery wants to hear your thoughts. This is a space for students. This is a space for faculty and staff. This is a space for conversation and silent reflection. This is a space to listen and to be heard. This is a space for you. The issues in the world around us may be a scribbled and chaotic mess, but in learning about those issues and responding to those issues, we perhaps have some sense of clarity.
The ReACT Gallery kickoff event is on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm in room 0003 in the basement of Morrill Hall and will subsequently be open Monday - Friday, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm during regular University business days.
2017-2018 ReACT Gallery Schedule
Leadership: September 5 – September 29, 2017
Water: October 23 – November 17, 2017
Green Dot: January 22 – February 16, 2018
First Amendment: April 2 – April 27, 2018
Aspen Pflanz is a senior History major and University Museums intern, from Wayne, Nebraska.