Have you ever thought of having your own art exhibition during college? I have not. You may not plan to become an Art major. Well, neither do I. However, I recently found myself working with an Ecology major (yes, a science person!) on organizing a themed art exhibitionfor the campus gallery of Lycoming College. Believe me, the idea once seemed to us as absurd as it might have just sounded to you. We did a rather great job, regardless, and if you could bear with me for a few more scrolls (or swipes), I will tell you how amazing it was to organize our own art exhibition, and where you could find such amazing experiences.
It was a Sunday evening. The artwork was ready for installation, and we had roughly three days to put up the whole show. I met with Jon, my partner, at the gallery to discuss some presentation issues. We talked about positioning, spacing, lighting, etc. Although there was much adjusting, measuring and punching (holes into the wall) to be done, we both felt rather ready for the gallery talk. Finally came Wednesday and our show opening. Around 30 people showed up for the opening, including students, two Art professors, a professional artist, staff members, and even our college’s Dean of Students (I admit that I felt somewhat pressured). Nevertheless, we managed to articulately discuss the exhibition theme and all the featured artwork, as well as presentation choices and issues with preparations. It surprised us how, just two months earlier, we had absolutely no clue what the “58-inch” rule was. Only through our class of Contemporary Approaches to Curatorial Methods did we learn about virtually all elements of exhibition design.
Now that the exhibition has ended, I can proudly put a tiny line on my resume saying, “curated an art exhibition,” and it will help me stand out in a pool of hundreds of Business Administration majors. Why? Simply because it is unique, which is exactly why I so much enjoy the liberal arts education here at Lycoming College. I remember taking an event planning course in which we had the chance to meet new event planners every week and were put in charge of real events for the final project, or an Entrepreneurship course for creative arts people (which was technically a Business course but did not count towards my major). The fun part is, I picked all of these cool and whacky classes out of pure curiosity. Two of them were actually experimental (not offered before), so I could not ask for feedback about the class, even if I had wanted to." .
To be honest, although I have worried my academic adviser on more than one occasion (that I might not be able to graduate on time), I have found that the Lyco curriculum gives remarkable freedom, and I can learn anything I felt like as long as I stayed on top of my progress.
Bottom line? If you are a student or becoming one, do spend time in exploring unfamiliar paths. I do not guarantee that you will like all of them, but I promise there is always something to learn. Step out of your comfort zone and into others’ comfort zones, and see yourself evolve. Liberal arts colleges are the ideal environment for us to learn, for here we get to do things that we might never imagine ourselves doing. No one tells a fish to climb a tree, but who says a business major cannot do arts?