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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Gallery serves as community space

Photo by Photo by Samuel Moffatt

The SEAD in Downtown Bryan is often a place to gather, share ideas or buy a book.

What was once the home of a worn, blue-carpeted IRS building now houses the SEAD Gallery & Bookshop, a center for community engagement and art in Downtown Bryan.
Situated among the little shops lining the street, the SEAD Gallery & Bookshop revolves around community. It offers a collective learning experience through art, design and drawing in local and international artists alike to contribute pieces to their ever fluid gallery. SEAD, which stands for Science, Engineering, Art and Design, works on engaging people of all age groups through art and encourages the innovation found at their intersection.
The SEAD Gallery focuses on creating a space for more creativity and showing other towns and neighborhoods how to do the same, Joan Quintana, director of the SEAD Gallery, said.
“We are in the business of community development, supporting the places where entrepreneurs thrive and encouraging people to create and explore,” Quintana said. “The idea really isn’t about us, it’s about helping and showing other communities how to do the same and have the same types of experiences.”
The SEAD Gallery’s exhibit is in constant motion, featuring artists of every background and every style. The Gallery presently showcases the work of Hailey Herrera, a native of South Korea, who works with every medium in her art, from wax to rice paper to watercolors. And although the Gallery primarily sees work from local artists, Quintana said, SEAD has also sponsored international artists.
“There was an artist living in residence from Amsterdam who had an exhibit called ‘Characters,’ which was a showcase of all these unique cows of a herd,” Quintana said. “The way she captured their personalities and quirks was absolutely astounding. Artists see things differently, capture things and open our eyes.”
In the eyes of Angela Witzkoske, a journalism senior and intern at SEAD, being able to meet and interact with the artists who come in and out has been the most rewarding part of her time working with the SEAD Gallery.
“At typical galleries, you don’t get that personal connection with the artists, but because we’re primarily a local gallery, I’ve gotten to meet the artists we feature,” Witzkoske said. “It’s different. It’s not something you see everyday. The art is always different, we feature whatever and whoever. Everybody can come. Everybody can show off their art.”
From local creatives and resident artists from Amsterdam to kids’ summer programs and adult learning opportunities, SEAD is devoted to innovation and the pursuit of knowledge on every front.
Callie Storie, Gallery Coordinator, explained that in conjunction with its gallery, SEAD has recently opened and expanded its bookshop and welcomes all residents to come and study among the life and movement of the gallery. SEAD has also grown their summer SEAD Academy, an innovation program for children of all ages, and SEAD After Dark, an opportunity for people of all age groups and backgrounds to come and discuss their thoughts and beliefs.
“I think that’s what SEAD brings to the community — more community,” Storie said. “It’s a place where people can bond with other people over learning and engaging with the world around them.”
As the SEAD Gallery grows, Storie hopes that more and more people will engage with the art and culture of their city and invites students to come by and do the same.
“We have the space open to the community, and during normal business hours, students are welcome to have a seat and study,” Storie said. “We are a place for community, by community. I would love for people to come and make it their place, to come and take ownership of this place as a place they love.”

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