Some art enthusiasts strolling down Franklin Street last Friday for the 2ndFriday Artwalk might have noticed the absence of the University’s only off-campus, student-run art gallery.
Leaders of the Student Artery, which has relocated twice in the past two years, will spend the summer looking for a new place to call home.
The Artery left its most recent space at 136 E. Rosemary St. on April 20. It previously opened next door at 137 E. Rosemary St. in November 2009.
The second move came about in late March, when a fire marshal notified the students that their space wasn’t up to code.
“To bring it up to fire code, it would have cost a lot of money,” said Kate St. John, the Artery’s summer curator and next year’s co-director.
St. John said the Artery hasn’t had much luck finding permanent venues.
“We don’t know where we’re moving. We have a few options,” St. John said. “What we’ve done in the past has been kind of like squatting.
“The goal is to find a place that we can permanently pay for so that this can be a thing that lasts beyond us leaving and doesn’t fizzle out, because it’s a great idea,” she added.
Although they would prefer to find a permanent address in Chapel Hill, members are considering locations in Carrboro, said St. John. The officers are actively searching for a new locale, she added.
“I want to have a place by August,” St. John said. “I intend to have a place by August.”
In the past, the Artery has been supported primarily by grants through the Department of Art’s Beatrice B. Pearman Undergraduate Research Fund in Art, said Natalia Davila, Artery curator for the 2010-11 academic year. Since opening, the gallery has received three of these grants — $500 per semester — she added.
During the 2010-11 academic year, funding came mainly from a private donation of $1,500, Davila said.
The Artery hosted more than 10 events in the past academic year, Davila said. But for the summer, members are considering less conventional means of presentation.
“We had definitely mentioned using open-air galleries, which would just be that day,” said Sheridan Howie, co-curator for next year. “(They) can be really stressful but it’s better than nothing, and I definitely want to keep the Artery in existence.”
St. John said she hopes that, above all else, the Artery will uphold its image.
“I want the aesthetic of the Artery to be, ‘We are college students, we are broke, we are anti-establishment’ because that’s what contemporary art is now,” she said.
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