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Through student generosity to the Queen's Challenge, $340,000 was raised for construction of a new student art gallery. Located in Stauffer Library, the Union Gallery opened in the fall of 1994. The gallery is centrally located on campus and is a student gallery with a strong commitment to the professional presentation of contemporary art. The location has ensured maximum exposure to the student population.
The exhibition program focuses on work produced by students in the Queen's BFA program as well as professional artists from outside the Queen's community. The gallery displays a variety of exhibitions, both 'raw' new art, fresh from current students' easels, as well as Bachelor of Fine Arts alumni or student work from other universities. The student gallery benefits the Queen's community by facilitating and increasing cooperation and communication among groups on campus and within the Kingston community.
In 2003 The Project Room was added into the Union Gallery. It is a 16'x10'x16' self-contained space located inside the main gallery. It is a venue for use by students and professional artists to present primarily installation, new media and time and sound-based works. The Project Room provides an opportunity to expand on the current program while still providing a venue for the presentation of contemporary art, encouraging original, collaborative and experimental ideas.
The mandate of the Union Gallery as a student gallery that was created to better serve Queens University and the Kingston community by: providing access to ongoing exhibitions of contemporary art; promoting greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of contemporary visual artwork in the Queens community by displaying art created by student and professional visual artists; offering a learning facility for Queens University students to practice the skills of gallery management and presentation of artwork; expanding on the commitment of Queens University to a culture rich in diverse artistic language through co-operation and communication with various departments on campus; and facilitating outreach programs that provide exchange with art programs at other universities in order to encourage artistic dialogue and interaction.
The Union Gallery is managed by an Executive Director, working under the Union Gallery Operating Board. The Operating Board is a working Board and consists of 80% students and 20% faculty or staff. The Operating Board meets bi-weekly with the Managing Director and are involved all gallery related decision making. All Board members have specific portfolios and chair committees and provide progress reports at each meeting.
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