Construction has been a constant theme on campus for the past few years, as have the changes that go with opening new facilities and closing old ones. The Nickle Arts Museum is set to reopen in the Taylor Family Digital Library next September, which is not soon enough for some fine arts students to have their final projects displayed in the space.
"Generally at the end of the year for graduating students in the arts faculty, they get to use the Nickle Arts to display their final projects," said Students' Union faculty of arts representative Lara Schmitz. "It's quite a large space and it's right on campus so it's perfect for the students. Now that's it's been closed and it's only reopening in the Taylor Family Digital Library in September 2011, that has caused a problem for the graduating students so they're looking for a new space."
Students and Schmitz are working to find an alternative space, either on or off campus, to exhibit fine arts final projects. The space requirements of the student projects will determine whether it is possible to stay on campus.
"The spaces on campus that are still available to display artwork are not actually big enough to display this kind of exhibit because there are multiple students and their exhibits are substantially larger than the projects that are displayed over the year," said Schmitz.
Existing spaces on campus, like the small gallery on the sixth floor of the Arts Parkade, are designed to exhibit one project at a time and can not fit multiple projects.
"The Nickle Arts Museum has an agreement with the department of fine arts whereby the department selects and the Nickle physically shows the work of graduating masters and bachelors of fine arts," said Nickle Arts Museum director Anne Davis. "There were two exhibitions there. One typically took place in the spring and that was for the bachelor of fine arts because that was generally when they were finished. And the other, the masters of fine arts, generally took place in the fall."
In the future, the Nickle Arts Museum will dedicate two spaces to the department of fine arts for exhibits. In the meantime the department of fine arts and not the Nickle Arts Museum would be responsible for finding a replacement space said Davis.
"It's kind of unfortunate that there's no place to display this year because one of the pivotal moments in a bachelor's degree of fine arts is getting to show your work off to the world," said fifth-year arts student Sheryl Ivanchuk. "They need to come up with a solution. It's unfortunate because I've gotten a grad show and it got me some recognition. You can put it on your resume, it gets you a step up in the art world because then you're one step closer to being a practicing artist and if you don't have a place to show you've never going to be able to get your foot in the door."