WENATCHEE — At the junction of art and music sits a 25-by-25 cube wrapped in metal sheeting with pure white walls inside. That’s the new gallery at the corner of the Center for Music and Art.
“There’s a real sense that this cube is separate from the rest of the building, but a key feature of it,” said art department director Scott Bailey. “It’s something that doesn’t have a lot of personality to it. It’s a blank canvas of clean, unbroken walls.”
The MAC gallery opens Monday with “Transitions,” an exhibition of prints and glass sculpture by famed Omak artist Joe Feddersen.
A member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Feddersen studied under Robert Graves at Wenatchee Valley College in the ’70s. At the time, the college had a reputation statewide for its art program, Bailey said.
Feddersen went on to become a professor at Evergreen State College. Through the years, the demand for his work has grown, with exhibitions at the Smithsonian and major galleries around the world, Bailey said.
“For us, this was a beautiful metaphor that one of our graduates, who had been here way back when the art department was fairly new and energized, would come back after all these years as we open this new building and a new era, I think,” Bailey said.
The gallery will host exhibits by professional artists about twice a year. Otherwise, students and faculty will apply to put on one of the gallery’s monthly exhibitions.
“We want to give students the experience of how to approach a gallery, curate a show and all the aspects of putting on an exhibition,” Bailey said.
Bailey is quick to point out that the new gallery won’t replace the Robert Graves Gallery — which is run independently of the college — or compete with the commercial galleries in town. The MAC gallery was designed to showcase work that’s not shown elsewhere, such as installations or video exhibitions.
“We exhibit outside the normal pressures of galleries that have to sell work,” Bailey said. “We want this to be a place where the work is high-quality, but we will give artists permission to take risks and show things that may not be designed to sell, but will be impactful and interesting.”
For more on the new Center for Music and Art, check out The Wenatchee World next week, or attend the ribbon cutting and open house 1-4 p.m. Sept. 30 at Wenatchee Valley College.