Student Union

Visual and Performing Arts Space

History and Mission Statement

Welcome to the Student Union Visual and Performing Arts Space. Active since 1957, our organization has strived to provide a public forum for both student and community artists and art administrators. Being the oldest gallery on campus, we are proud of our long term commitment to providing the opportunity for all artists to present their work to the public in a professional manner. The Student Union Visual and Performing Arts Space is completely student run, providing the unique opportunity for aspiring arts administrators to gain the valuable practical learning experience essential to a well-rounded education. Being a registered student organization, we are independent of residential area governments and academic departments. Funding is obtained through block grants from the UMASS Arts Council, Graduate Student Senate, and the Student Government Association. Individual exhibitions may also receive additional support from sponsoring organizations or individual project grants.

Much more than just an art gallery, the Student Union Visual and Performing Arts Space is committed to the multi-cultural goals of the University. Previously named the Student Union Gallery, our organization has made a concerted effort to expand the artistic realms showcased in our space. Performance art, visual art, music and poetry are only some of what one may find here, with emphases ranging from race issues to sexism, cultural diaspora to celebration, and the importance of supporting local art. Recent exhibits include "Over the Edge" by Lydia Nettler, and "Paintings and Objects" by artists John Donovan and Paul Inglis. Other events in the Student Union Visual and Performing Arts Space include poetry readings hosted by Spectrum and Mother Tongue. Musical performances by "The Doo-Wop Shop", Analisze Messner, and contact improvs hosted by the UMASS Arts Collective.

In addition, students completing their BFA or MFA programs at the University are welcome exhibitors. Currently, the Student Union Visual and Performing Arts Space provides more opportunities for student artists and art administrators than anywhere else on campus. Such exposure not only caps off years of discipline in a chosen art, but provides visual and performing artists with gallery and performance experience respectively.

The Student Union Visual and Performing Arts Space is dedicated to four educational goals:

1. The space actively supports and promotes cultural multiplicity through programming that addresses ethnic, racial, and lifestyle diversity.

2. The organization provides a broad perspective of the contemporary art scene through a wide range of artistic mediums and by exhibiting professional artists of local, national, and international renown.

3. The space exposes inexperienced artists to the realities of public exhibition and/or performance.

4. The organization provides its student staff opportunities to undertake the responsibilities integral to being a successful art administrator.

The Student Union Visual and Performing Arts Space provides invaluable experience to all of its student staff. The skills required to run a viable visual and performing arts space day in and day out are learned with hands on experience. Employment in our organization provides opportunities to explore various fields.

Our organization fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for the arts. It serves to engage and enlighten the extended University community. Working interactively with students, organizations and professional artists, the Student Union Visual and Performing Arts Space provides an irreplaceable educational and cultural service.


Fall Exhibits Spring Exhibits Faces Poetry Readings Plan