EOU Art Club Collaboration with HQ Event Center for Divergent Exhibition

Eastern Oregon University’s Art Club collaborated with HQ Event Center to host the first off-campus student artist gallery exhibition outside of a class structure. The Divergent Exhibition ran from April 6 to March 6 at HQ on 112 Depot Street in downtown La Grande. 

Mary Edwards, senior Art major and active EOU Art Club member, came up with the idea for an exhibition and worked out the logistics with HQ’s Christoper Jennings and others to formulate the show. Mary presented the idea with the club officers; Hannah Smith (President), Tanisha Willis (Vice President), Jan Ng (Secretary), and Nickie Voltaire (Treasurer), who agreed that an art exhibition off-campus would be beneficial to students and the community. HQ agreed to work with EOU Art Club to expand the use of their space for a variety of events and they also believe art is an important aspect of society. 

Thus, the Divergent Exhibition was born, and any EOU student and Art Faculty could submit artwork. A total of 35 pieces were on display for the month, ranging from drawings, paintings, photography, and ceramics. The Divergent Exhibition had an amazing turn out with community involvement, generous donations, and the selling of artwork, EOU Art Club and HQ hope to make this a tradition. Not only did EOU Art Club members gain public exposure and experience in the art world outside of the campus environment, but EOU’s connection with the community grew through the use of art.

In the art world, being able to display your artwork can be challenging if you don’t have the personal connections or the funds to do so, but with this collaborative exhibition, it gave students the opportunity to showcase their work and learn the valuable skills in curating an art gallery exhibition. Also, many EOU students do not get the opportunity to showcase their work unless they are Junior or Senior Art students or submit to the annual All-Campus Juried Student Exhibition that happens in Spring term. 

EOU Art Club would like to give special thanks to Mary Edwards, HQ and Christopher Jennings, Safeway and Kneads Bakery for their donation of food at the opening reception, the student artists who submitted work, the EOU Art Faculty for also submitting work and supporting their students, EOU Art Club members and officers for their hard work, Senate Allocations Committee for financial support, community members for attending the exhibition and purchasing artwork, and Rebecca Larrabee for playing an inverted drum at the opening night.

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