Farnham, Willis art galleries feature new exhibits

by Taia Veren, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Simpson College is home to two art exhibits which complement the popular art program on campus.

Farnham Galleries is located on the third floor of Mary Berry, and Willis Galleries is located on the second floor of the Kent Campus Center.

Colleen Willmott, administrative assistant to the art department, started working for the galleries in 2011.

“We operate two art galleries on campus, the Farnham Gallery and the Willis Gallery,” Willmott said. “Farnham sometimes shows local artists, but usually artists tend to be from a more national level. We have artists come from Kentucky, Michigan, California and even abroad. Willis Gallery features the local artists, such as faculty, student and high school shows.”

Students are encouraged to visit the Farnham Galleries which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The art department’s faculty will put on a show of their artwork in Willis Galleries later this year.

High Schools also have a chance to showcase their student art in Willis Gallery. Last year 17 high schools submitted artwork. Willis also holds a Simpson College juried show that any student can enter to be a part of.

This show is the fourth annual all-student exhibit and rewards first- and second-place students with cash prizes for their artwork.

“The gallery manager, Dave Richmond, makes the determination of who is selected to show their artwork. We have a process in which artists send in a letter and portfolio of their artwork, and then Dave determines if the artist’s work is appropriate for the galleries,” Willmott said.

Farnham Galleries seeks to be diverse and brings in five professional artists each year, three during the fall semester and two in the spring. These artists are from all across the country, and last year the gallery even welcomed an artist from Ireland.

At the end of the year, the senior art students are highlighted in an exhibition. Farnham features the Julia Franklin Art exhibit “Picking up the Pieces” until Thursday.

“The Julia Franklin exhibit is very interesting. It features her father’s belongings who committed suicide 26 years ago, and recently after her mother passed away, she found all of these possessions of her father’s. And it reopened up some tough memories which was the inspiration for her artwork,” Willmott said.

Farnham has each artist it features come to the gallery and talk about their work.
Franklin will be on campus Thursday to discuss her artwork and give students the opportunity to ask questions about her exhibit and the emotional history behind it.

“I like the fact that the artwork is not just things hanging on the wall,” Willmott said. “It’s different items strung across the room, objects hanging from the ceiling, and there’s a deep meaning behind all of it.”

Students can enter up to two pieces, each being in different categories which are 3D, graphic design, painting, drawing, photography and mixed media.

“Art on display on campus is important because it gives not only art students, but all students a chance to see and appreciate artwork that they might not go out of their way to see or even get the opportunity to see,” Willmott said.

If any student is interested in submitting their artwork into the All-Student Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, contact Willmott at [email protected]