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President's Blog: From the Heart

Get Together exhibit

Get Together

By Eric F. Spina

As I walked for the first time through the vibrant, light-filled visual arts gallery in the newly opened Roger Glass Center for the Arts, I was struck by an abstract piece consisting of a geometric arrangement of beautiful blue wooden cubes mounted on one of the movable walls.

You can’t miss it — the work is nearly 10 feet tall and six feet wide, and the shadows from the gridded arrangement give it a sense of dynamic movement as visitors approach it. Artist Suki Kwon, the Graul Endowed Chair in Arts and Languages, says she was inspired by the Emperor’s Gate at the Forbidden City in Beijing and the special, symbolic meaning of numbers when she created “The Gate of Heavenly Peace I." 

It’s a showstopper.

But, honestly, I could say that about each of the 90 pieces displayed in “Get Together,” the inaugural invitational exhibition that captures the spirit of the University of Dayton’s stunning arts center. This is a place where UD and the Dayton community will come together in imaginative ways. At the gallery’s opening and blessing on Jan. 27, I could feel the positive energy as more than 500 people strolled through the exhibit, mingled, talked about art — and talked about the new space as place.

This opening show, which runs through March 17, showcases a diversity of artists from our campus, area universities, and across the city and reflects the ethos of the Glass Center. It’s about creativity. It’s about inclusivity. It’s about imagination.

There’s something for everyone in this exhibit that was carefully curated and organized by Nick Arnold and Zachary Collopy from the Department of Art and Design. It’s a visual cornucopia of drawings, prints, photos, paintings, fibers, sculpture, and video. One piece, Misty Thomas-Trout’s "Paul Laurence Dunbar Dialect Playing Cards," invited visitors to “please touch.”

Like the space, the art is approachable and welcoming.

“What struck me the most about the opening was the solid sense of community that seemed to be built around everyone coming together in the new space,” says Nick, UD’s galleries director. “I wasn’t expecting to see the crowd we got or for folks to stay and really get into the exhibition for as long as they did. I think many felt welcomed and impressed by the new space, the variety of works, and the sheer number of artists, along with the scale of the works in the show.”

Before Father Joe Kozar, S.M., blessed the gallery, Danielle Poe, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, called the Roger Glass Center “a dream a long time in coming.” Students are already attending classes in the building, and musical performances and plays in the concert hall and experimental theater are filling the spring schedule as we prepare for an April 13 grand opening open house.

The Roger Glass Center for the Arts reflects the hopes and aspirations of so many faculty and staff on our campus who envisioned the transformative power of bringing all the arts together under one roof.

And it’s no longer a dream.

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