While navigating pandemic restrictions, Creative Media students in Gordon Glover’s Integrated Studio Foundations course collaborated to hang an exhibition of their iterative early semester work in the CCM Stair Nook Gallery. The gallery includes QR codes that allow visitors to experience video and audio that cannot be installed in the physical space.
First-year student Willow Robichaud—whose piece is a video and audio performance focusing on the color, shape, and vibration of a brass singing bowl—designed the virtual counterpart of the exhibition through Artsteps. According to its website, “Artsteps is a web-based environment that allows its members to create virtual art galleries in life-like 3D spaces.”
Robichaud said when she started at Champlain last fall, she was apprehensive about virtual art classes because she believes the most important aspects of art are community and collaboration. “I was very happy to learn that even though we lacked a shared space to create, my peers and I maintained our passion for iterating, critiquing, and revising our work,” she says. “Our ability to display our work in the galleries of the CCM building, however, was still limited. Creating this space, and contributing to it, has been an extremely fulfilling experience. Viewing the work of my peers in the form they intended was something lost due to the spread of COVID, and through Artsteps, we were able to collaborate and create an engaging and inspiring show.”
The Integrated Studio Foundations course is new—and unexpectedly completely remote. Still, it’s evident that the students have risen to the occasion and are innovating and adapting. Creative Media Professor Gordon Glover believes the exhibition is vital because “students need to practice and experience mounting exhibitions at least once a semester so that by the time they get to their senior Capstone show, it is not the first time they have dealt with all the preparation, planning, and unforeseen wrinkles that so often arise when planning an exhibit. This Stair Nook Gallery exhibition is completely student driven. It is make or break, sink or swim, and up to them to produce, display, and promote the exhibit.”
If you’re on campus, breeze by the Stair Nook Gallery to check out the exhibit, located in the CCM building at the bottom of the glass staircase. If not, peruse the virtual gallery.
Erika Skorstad ’21—Contributor