Last October the Chabot College Art Gallery had to shut its doors because of lack of operational funding and the community as well as the student body’s outcry did not fall on deaf ears. During the Galleries closure, managerial changes took place with Aaron Deetz, an instructor of photography, taking over for Diane Zuliani a history instructor as the coordinator of the art gallery.
I asked professor Deetz how he felt when the art gallery closed and he said “It was hard for the whole division to lose a space the students use to showcase their work. Nobody was happy about it, but everybody was dedicated to reopening the gallery.” He told me that he was stoked about the art gallery reopening and the new direction of the art gallery will be to have the students run the shows so that they’re just as invested as the faculty.
Just six months after the doors were closed for what the community thought to be indefinitely the Dean of Arts, Media and Communication Deonne Kunkel had other plans. I talked to her in-between meetings to ask her why reopening the art gallery was so important to her, and she told me “I made it a priority to reopen the art gallery to give the students and our community the opportunity be able to express themselves through art.” I questioned her to where the money came from, and she told me that she with the coordination of Vice President Stacy Thompson and support of the President of Chabot were able to reallocate monies to reopen the gallery. “ I’m excited we have a lot of student showcases coming shortly.”
The student’s opinions and feelings who were affected the most were heard and swift action taken to reopen the gallery. I asked freshmen art student Roseanne Bengco who recently found out that the gallery will be reopening on a scale of one to ten how excited she was? “Ten, It means a lot as an artist to have a place to showcase your work and take pride in the effort you put into your craft and to receive feedback from people about your work. It makes the process all worth it.”
The art gallery will be hosting a digital media and photography showcase on April 12 and on the April 26 a foundation studio arts showcase for painting and drawing.