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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Discovering Creativity: A Look Inside Colgate’s Diverse and Inclusive Picker Art Gallery

Livvy Fletcher

Hidden on the second floor of Dana Arts Center, Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery is the perfect place for students, faculty and Hamilton community members to enjoy a variety of art pieces, ranging from sculptures to paintings to photographs. The gallery aims to create an accessible environment for people to learn, spark conversation and connect with the world around them.

Junior Wendy Wu — an art history major — is currently interning at the Picker Art Gallery. She works alongside her fellow staff members to curate relevant and unique exhibitions for those who visit the venue. Wu believes that the gallery is the perfect place for people to grow and share knowledge by spending time with others or enjoying themselves.

“All of the on-campus museums are academic museums designed to help provoke conversations within the campus community. We hope to give students the opportunity to have a place to communicate not only about our artwork but all things […]. The most important thing is who the audience is: students and faculty,” Wu said.

Although the gallery may be a hidden gem on campus, it is easy to get involved and engage with the presentations. 

“[Students] can be brought to the gallery by their classes. Professors of different departments have brought their students to the gallery for different purposes, and we retrieve artworks for them according to their needs. Students can also visit the galley during their own time,” Wu said. 

If interested, students can also apply for a position on the gallery’s faculty team. Senior Cindy Chen has enjoyed her time as a curatorial assistant at Picker and is looking forward to using what she has learned in the future. 

“As a student curatorial intern at Picker, I gained practical experience in all aspects of gallery management, including content creation and gallery installation, which deepened my understanding of running a student-facing gallery and organizing educational exhibitions,” Chen said. “My experience at the Picker has proven to be applicable to my museum studies minor and has inspired me to pursue future career and postgraduate studies in museums.”

Picker doesn’t only give students the opportunity to get involved — it connects with the town of Hamilton, too. Through public tours led by Nicholas West, the co-director of University museums and curator of the Picker Art Gallery, and the current semester intern, members from and around Hamilton learn more about their surroundings. Picker also features local artists. The current exhibition, “Tales of Terra: A Lee Brown Coye Retrospective,” is a collection of pieces by Lee Brown Coye, who grew up making art in Central New York and lived in Hamilton for the later part of his life. Lee Brown Coye’s artwork is also in the Hamilton U.S. Post Office, the Hamilton Public Library and the Colgate Inn.

“We have a substantial collection of Lee Brown Coye’s work in Picker,” Wu said. “For the ‘Tales of Tera’ collection, we cut it down to about 250 pieces. We made a lot of choices during the preparation stages. This might be the exhibition with the most pieces of art in the gallery […]. Coye made his artwork in many different media — pen drawings, watercolor illustrations, oil paintings, sculptures and pencil sketches — including some he sketched at Colgate of the landscape, buildings and the lake.”

Through these connections in and out of Colgate, the Picker Art Gallery is creating a diverse and inclusive space for open and important conversations. 

“We have artwork with many different perspectives, cultures and communities. This provides the groundwork for many conversations here at Colgate,” Wu said.

If you are looking to strengthen your relationship with the Colgate and Hamilton communities, find an accessible space to talk with others and learn more about the world through art, visit the Picker Art Gallery. The current exhibition will run through Mar. 3, 2024. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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    Tyler LackFeb 1, 2024 at 11:10 pm

    Wow what a piece!

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    Paul IacaronNov 17, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    Great read!