LGBTQ artists featured in gallery from OIE

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The University of Indianapolis Office of Inclusive Excellence is hosting the “To Preserve and Protect” gallery in the Intercultural Engagement Center, according to curator of the Intercultural Engagement Center and junior studio art major Primrose Paul. According to Paul, the “To Preserve and Protect” gallery is currently featuring an exhibition showcasing art about the lived history of people in the LGBTQ community. Paul said that she asked LGBTQ student artists at UIndy to show how they feel about their community in their art for the exhibit so people are able to see different facets of being a part of that community. 

One of the artists featured in the exhibit is sophomore studio art major Grayson O’Connell. According to O’Connell, being featured in the exhibition is a great opportunity, and draws attention to their artwork. O’Connell also said it is a big stepping stone for their own future exhibitions. 

“I think that this exhibition was a really impactful exhibition because it’s all about protecting minority groups or yourself, like your identity, and who you are as a person,” O’Connell said. “That allows for someone [who sees] the gallery to get a glimpse on who someone is as a person and the struggles they go through.”

According to Paul, this is the second exhibit she has hosted in the gallery. The first one was called “An Ode to Blackness” and featured black artists that focused their work around their community, according to Paul. Paul said that her goal with the gallery has been to showcase activism through different points of view. 

Paul said that in the process of creating the gallery exhibits, she researches and interviews artists to learn about their work and their stories. She said she puts out a call for artists outside the campus community to bring their art as well as student artists. According to Paul, the gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week for anyone who wants to check it out. 

“The whole

because this was supposed to be a multicultural center, and when we first moved in here, the walls had nothing,” Paul said. “So it was kind of like someone giving you a space, and then you have to figure out what to do with the space. So that’s how I came up with this idea. I went to Dr. Smith, who is our director, and I told her about the idea of having a gallery, and she was on board, and that’s kind of how this all came to life.”

According to Paul, the gallery exhibit also functions as a classroom that professors can book classes in. This combines art and education for an environment that stimulates learning, according to Paul. Paul said this gallery is a place on campus where students feel safe and connected with the community on campus. 

This gallery on campus is open to all students and faculty. O’Connell said that the gallery is a great way for students to create connections in the art field. They also said that it is a great way for anyone to learn from other artists and put themselves out there.

“Being able to get an insight as to how people create this art and who they are as a person can open their eyes to the art world more,” O’Connell said. “As students, I think that’s a really important step, to show your artwork as you’re coming out.”

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