64.1 F
Sunday, May 24, 2020

Petition to ‘Save VU Gallery’ inaccurate

By Aaron Gillis

A widely-circulated petition claiming that the Viking Union Gallery is set to be decommissioned isn’t entirely factual, and the claim that gallery funding is being reallocated to the Ethnic Student Center is false.

The petition, titled “Save the VU Gallery,” has amassed 625 supporters as of Tuesday night. However, employees at the VU and Associated Students say the petition is incorrect.

“There is lots of misinformation on what is going on.  We need to shut down the rumor mill,” said Greg McBride, the assistant director of Viking Union Facilities.

McBride said the gallery will close at the end of the quarter for construction. According to Western’s Frequently Asked Questions about the renovations, the gallery will be closed during construction, but programming for the gallery during this time has yet to be determined.

Sophomore Emily Hill at the Andrew Yee art exhibit in the Viking Union art gallery Tuesday. “I absolutely love it,” Hill said. “I think the very first word that comes to mind is aggressive art.”

Jenn Cook, the Associated Students program adviser, stated clearly that there is no plan of decommissioning the gallery.

“There is no decision as to the future of the gallery—and certainly not to fund the new center,” Cook said. “The future of the gallery is currently being discussed among the VU staff, AS student staff and the art department faculty.”

The creators of the petition expressed support for the ESC, but made it seem as if the two were in competition for funding.

McBride wanted to clear up more misinformation on the funding of the gallery.

“The gallery is not in competition for funds with the Ethnic Student Center,” McBride said.

Paul Cocke, director of communications and marketing, agreed with McBride. “The two are not connected in any way,” he said.

Keeping art in the building is top priority, Cook said, although there is no definitive plan on what it may look like.

“There is no desire to remove the program, but there is a possibility that the art program may look differently,” Cook said. “The voices of students have certainly been heard to keep the gallery a gallery, not another form.”

Construction on the gallery is taking place in order to add structural footings for the building and expand current footings, said Cocke.

“New columns will be added to support the 7th floor addition, and new floor and roof structure will be erected above this area,” Cocke said.

Plans of expanding the Ethnic Student Center have been going on since spring of 2014, when the Associated Students allocated $50,000 to start the design process. Scheduled completion of construction is set for June 2019, according to the Western website’s FAQs.

The Western Front will continue to cover this topic.


    • Hi Alisa! I’m the editor-in-chief of The Western Front. Our reporter made multiple attempts to talk to student staff at the gallery, but did not get a response. Our reporter is continuing to reach out to sources for a follow up story. If you’d like to suggest someone we should talk to, send an email to westernfrontonline@gmail.com
      Thanks for the comment!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Must Read

Sports: Pros and cons of Seahawks’ NFL draft pick Malik McDowell

Why did the Seahawks go after a defensive tackle with their first selection in the 2017 NFL draft? Coming off...

Resident advisers hold open forum with university officials to discuss concerns

Written by: Bram Briskorn and Questen Inghram Over 300 people packed into Arntzen Hall, room 100 as if it were...

Bellingham chef delivers meals to the vulnerable during COVID-19

Illustration of Ona Lee, chef and founder of Clara's Canning Co., with food, trees and flowers....

Latest News

Bellingham artist creates Washington-themed board game printed on bandanna

Bradley James Lockhart’s Evergreen Bandana Game surpasses its Kickstarter goal by over $9,000

City of Bellingham forecasts a $9.6 million deficit for 2020’s budget

Bellingham City Councilmember Pinky Vargas stated that these forecasts “seem a little optimistic.” An illustration...

Spring student art exhibit postponed

Bachelors of Fine Art student exhibit postponed until Sept. 23 The Bachelors of Fine...

Makeworth Market makes it work

Bellingham business celebrates one-year anniversary amidst COVID-19 restrictions The exterior of Makeworth Market dressed with balloons...

SAIRC provides student support

Campus organization puts on digital events and resources spring quarter A display of the AS...

More Articles Like This