Decker debuts as new Hartnett Hall Gallery director

By Emily Schmidt
University Communications Student Assistant

MINOT, N.D. – Art administration major Angela Decker launched the new student-led Hartnett Hall Gallery Aug. 29.

The gallery and studio space on the second floor of Hartnett Hall was under construction since the development of the Northwest Arts Center. After it was finished, the space needed a purpose.

This is where Decker comes into play.

“My role is to kind of oversee the gallery,” she said. “I schedule shows, make sure there are shows in it, schedule receptions, find the people to put the shows in, and then assist with putting up and taking down, keeping things in order, making sure there’s stuff in the gallery.”

As an art administration major, this position is perfect for Decker, who is currently the only student from Minot State pursuing this area of study.

“I’m like built for this,” she said.

Arts program associate professor Ryan Stander agrees.

“It’s fun to see someone who is excited about it, who just ran with it,” he added. 

The Hartnett Hall Gallery serves as a test run for Decker and her goal of managing a professional gallery in the future. 

“It's an interesting way to kind of step off into it in a safer environment before you're just full blown out in the job market,” she said. “The world won’t end, and a business won’t close if I mess up, but I also have a lot more freedom to make choices and talk to students and get exciting things in the gallery.”

“She’s getting great experience for what she wants to do,” said Stander. “Going out and working in galleries or museums, curating the exhibit, running the exhibit, the publicity kinds of things, and working with artists are all skills that those people in the arts administration degree need to have.”

Since Decker has been running the gallery, it has become an environment for students at Minot State to experiment with presenting a complete show, most likely for the first time.

“It’s a good space for students to come and learn and try something that's maybe weird, but it’s fun, everyone had a good laugh, and you can take it down in a week,” Decker said.

“Once they start getting a feel for some of the weird stuff that they can do, they’ll be able to take more risks,” Stander said. “It doesn’t have to be a piece of paper hung on the wall as art."

The current exhibit in the gallery is one of these experiments.

“The spirit of what we’ve got going is I’m just leaving the space open. I’m putting some hangers up on the walls and I'm just letting it regulate itself,” Decker said.

Since this exhibit’s launch, new pieces have appeared every day, creating a constantly evolving exhibit. This is a possibility unique to Minot State.

“I think about that we have three galleries on campus,” Stander said. “For a school of that size, that’s pretty amazing. No other school in North Dakota has that. I think it’s exciting that we have that much new art always going through the University.”

The next exhibit in the Hartnett Hall Gallery and Studios will open Oct. 21, showcasing prints from the Minot State Permanent Collection as well as print paraphernalia from the Minot State printmaking studio.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 10/18/19   

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