On Wednesday, the Colorado College IDEA Space’s one-night event titled The CCollective introduced two groundbreaking changes to the campus art community: a space for students to display their artwork and a reason to enter Cornerstone Arts Center.
Located two whole crosswalks away from the bustling Worner Student Center, Cornerstone rarely receives traffic from students other than those taking classes in the impressively designed building.
“Cornerstone is pretty inaccessible,” LeeAna Wolfman, senior art history major and co-coordinator of The CCollective, said. “It is only targeted to a certain type of student.”
The Cornerstone stigma is an unfortunate one considering the incredible resources it contains, including the IDEA Space, an interdisciplinary gallery space curated by Jessica Hunter-Larsen.
“The IDEA Space is a really well done, professional gallery that is a resource and a privilege, but it is underutilized,” Wolfman said.
In regards to the lack of student traffic through the gallery space, Hunter-Larsen acknowledges the difficulty of marketing to a community that is overly saturated with event opportunities, and, furthermore, that cycles out every four years.
“It is important for students to establish patterns and feel invited and comfortable in different spaces, even as non-art students. How do we extend the welcome when there are so many things going on?” Hunter-Larsen said.
In attempt to encourage more student involvement in the IDEA program, an acronym for InterDisciplinary Experimental Arts, Hunter-Larsen suggested exhibiting student works during the lull between professional exhibitions.
“Listening to students’ comments, it was clear there was a desire for this sort of opportunity outside the framework of classes,” Hunter-Larsen said.
The one night gala event, which occurred from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, was an opportunity for students of any discipline to exhibit their art. 2D and 3D works filled the gallery space, accompanied by performances from student a capella group, Room 46, student band, The Logjammers, as well as poetry and prose readings. The show was entirely organized by IDEA Space interns Wolfman and Sarah Kelsey.
“We wanted to celebrate the art work of students in a way that is supported by the administration. There is no venue on campus where anyone can bring their work to be shown. It is really special what Jessica [Hunter-Larsen] is doing” Wolfman said.
Besides senior art studio thesis shows and blockly open houses put on by concluding art classes, the Colorado College campus lacks opportunities for students to display their art work.
“We hope that [The CCollective] will happen again and become some sort of tradition.” Wolfman said.
Nikki Kaufman, senior sociology major, supports this idea. “I think things like this should happen every block. Literally it blows me away how talented our friends are and to have a place like this to bring it all together is beautiful,” Kaufman said.
Students across all grades commented on the success of the exhibit. Freshman Abby Portman said, “It is intimidating because the art is unbelievable,” but added that it is an encouragement to take art classes while at CC.
Senior sociology major, Izzy Parkinson, emphasized the importance “to pay respect to our peers. This is a show put on by us for us.”
Hunter-Larsen said she hopes to provide this opportunity once per semester, when there is enough time between each show in the IDEA Space.
Organizers Hunter-Larsen, Kelsey, and Wolfman too were elated with the execution of the event.
“The best part is seeing people take time in the gallery to look at the art.” Wolfman said. “It is clear that something is missing on this campus, and that the CCollective is filling this void.”