After the launch of the Ignite campaign to raise money for lighting in Gallery 130, the Ole Miss Art Department has added to their end goal. Newswatch reporter Denver Haggard tells us more. Rhylan Hillis – contributing
At the start of February, the Ole Miss art department launched an online fundraising campaign with Ole Miss Ignite. Within just eight days they reached their goal.
“I feel very grateful that people have responded. This is the first time we’ve tried this, and we’re just thrilled people have realized our needs and responded,” Nancy Wicker, interim chair of the department said.
Before they graduate, every art student at the University of Mississippi is required to exhibit work in Gallery 130, located in Meek Hall. The problem is the exhibit space is desperately in need of an update, Wicker said.
Gallery 130 has an outdated lighting system, with some lights attached using clamps and some not working at all. The department has exchanged older halogen bulbs for new LED bulbs, but the fundraiser was launched to fix the problem long term.
“I think it’s really awesome that we can display our artworks and like have a space for us,” art student Juliana Coleman said.
The department started the campaign with a goal of $3,000, but they quickly went beyond $3,500. Donations have not only come from alumni, but also the Oxford community including parents of students, friends, and those who just want to see the department grow.
“We’ve met our goal, but it’s disappointing to tell you that we need more than that,” Wicker said.
They’re now making plans for a better gallery setting to display their student’s hard work. The renovations are set to go underway during the summer, and the gallery is expected to be ready by fall 2020.