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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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Visual Arts Committee spotlights artists, near and far

“A” Nguyen

Three pieces of artwork shown at the Reynolds Gallery located on the second floor of the MSC on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.

The Visual Arts Committee, or VAC, is a subcommittee of the Memorial Student Center’s Student Programs focused on bringing traveling art exhibitions to the James R. Reynolds Gallery on campus. The organization also displays pieces produced by students in its Aggie Frame of Mind exhibit and its upcoming exhibition: Artfest.

VAC’s current exhibition, Questionable Foods by Artist Kathleen Elliot, is on display until Feb. 23. External Development Director and supply chain management sophomore Sanjana Thiagarajan said the organization underwent months of preparation to curate the artwork.

“I spent months coordinating for this event,” Thiagarajan said. “I scheduled the exhibition closing reception well in advance of the current weather we are experiencing. Elliot will be speaking to different classes on campus about her artwork and its message. She’ll attend our weekly member meeting through Zoom and attend the closing reception that we host.”

The Questionable Foods closing reception will take place from 7-9 p.m. in the Reynolds gallery and is open for the public to attend. Committee Development Director and public health sophomore Hailey Thomas said she enjoyed getting to view the exhibit after setting up the gallery alongside VAC members.

“She utilizes glass and packaging from consumer products and really sheds light on how the foods we eat every day aren’t good for us,” Thomas said. “It’s a thought piece … it’s cool because she’s messing with the idea that it’s ironic [that] the packaging is so fun, playful and colorful when it’s not the best for us or the environment.”

VAC members get to nominate and choose the exhibits the committee curates in the Reynolds Gallery. Thomas said she enjoys how each campus gallery has its own niche.

“VAC is a great opportunity to learn more about the process of curating art because you get to pick what goes in the [James R.] Reynolds gallery,” Thomas said. “You submit your ideas in VAC and start conversations about what you’d like to see on campus. Each gallery has its own unique thing and Reynolds is geared towards students and showcasing our artistic interests.”

Another ongoing exhibition curated by VAC members is Aggie Frame of Mind. This exhibit, located on the maroon wall outside of the Bethancourt Ballcourt in the MSC, displays photographs of selected media that capture an essence of the Aggie spirit, Thiagarajan said.

“[Aggie Frame of Mind] is an opportunity for students to submit work of their own,” Thiagarajan said. “[The exhibit] is a really great way to exhibit Aggie life and connect the Aggie community. It’s another way for current students to also keep in touch with former students. One recent exhibit featured old Battalion articles on the first women who attended and graduated from A&M.”

VAC is now getting ready to feature A&M students’ artwork in Artfest, the organization’s next exhibition taking place in Reynold’s Gallery from Mar. 1 to Apr. 29. Students are able to purchase a submission for $5 from the box office located in Rudder Tower, Thomas said.

“You can submit up to three pieces into Artfest for a total of $15,” Thomas said. “We take submissions on February 23 and 24. You fill out an art form online at our website. The form is about the piece and what it’s made of so [VAC] can identify it. We will have a panel of judges to critique the submission. The [three] winners will be awarded [a cash prize] in various art categories.”

To learn more about VAC, its previous exhibitions and Artfest, visit their website.

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