After five years at the California Baptist University Gallery in downtown Riverside, the College of Architecture Visual Arts and Design art gallery relocated Oct. 24 to the Rose Garden Gallery on campus for its debut show, “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time,” the Biennial Faculty Exhibit.
Beka Leininger, CBU alumna and curator of the Rose Garden Gallery, is responsible for choosing and installing all of the art pieces for the new on-campus gallery.
Since relocating the gallery, attendance for the opening show improved drastically.
Leininger said students are more willing to visit a gallery on-campus rather than off-campus. She said there were more people at the opening show than there have ever been to a show downtown.
The Rose Garden Chapel, located near the Village Apartments, was renovated this summer to accommodate future shows at the gallery.
What used to be a workspace for students is now a public platform for artists, students and faculty to display their work.
“The space itself has its challenges because it wasn’t built to be a gallery. The walls aren’t very tall. The ceiling is supported by beams that we put track lighting on to brighten up the room. There were just a lot of issues but we figured it out,” Leininger said. “It’s an opportunity for students on campus to be more exposed to art.”
Christina Izaguirre, junior visual arts major, works at the gallery by helping install and uninstall the pieces showcased in the gallery, as well as greet visitors who come to the gallery.
Izaguirre said she liked the new gallery’s location in comparison to the former location.
“It’s almost better than the downtown location. I like the outside look and the mosaics. I like how it’s on-campus because a lot of students didn’t really know about the old location,” Izaguirre said. “But knowing that the art gallery is here, I feel like we are going to have a lot more visitors.”
The Biennial Faculty Exhibit featured six CBU faculty, including; Dave Williams, adjunct professor of fine art; Candace Brabant, adjunct professor of fine art and illustration; Steven Félix-Jäger, adjunct professor of fine art and illustration; Nancy Gary Ward, lecturer in art and illustration; Kristi Lippire, associate professor of fine art; and Duncan Simcoe, professor of fine art.
Lippire, who played a role in the establishment and relocation of the gallery, said she has high hopes for the new location.
“I hope to start offering student-led kids’ art workshops in the gallery for the CBU community and the community at large, giving students who aspire to be art educators some hands-on experience working with kids and building curriculum,” Lippire said. “The purpose of the faculty show is for our students to see how we, the professors, make work and to be inspired by the many different representations of art-making that there are in any group of professional art-makers.”
Leininger said installing art is a process she takes seriously.
“A painting can be displayed in about a thousand different ways and if you know the artist and his or her work and influences, it can help you to show it in a way that would best represent the artist,” Leininger said. “You want everyone to interact with the art in a different way so how it’s displayed is important. Smaller works would be lost in a large room so I put those in a small hallway.”
The Rose Garden Gallery hosted the faculty show until Nov. 16, but will open again Dec. 6 with a reception event for the CAVAD senior show.
The gallery is located on-campus near Adams Street. The gallery is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. More information is available on the gallery’s Instagram @Rose_Garden_Gallery.