Graduate student Shelley Hampe said the art department’s connection with its students has changed her as an artist.
The instructors give students space and time to develop, which is rare, and through this she has become more honest in her work, Hampe said. One of the ways she has learned is through TCU’s exhibits, like those at the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts gallery.
The “Experiencing Perspectives” exhibit, which opened Oct. 28 in the corporate offices of financial leasing company Daimler Financial Services, showcases two pieces of Hampe’s work.
“Daimler did a really good job of trying to keep the integrity of the art intact,” Hampe said.
The exhibit marked the beginning of the art department’s partnership with Daimler Financial Services and Southern Methodist University.
The yearlong exhibit showcases the work of art students, faculty and graduates from both TCU and SMU. Daimler selected the two universities to participate in the exhibit out of several from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
The pieces are displayed throughout Daimler’s 164,000 square-foot office building. Galleries are the typical venues for artwork, but with space for 800 employees, the work can be viewed by more people.
“I think that the fact that their work is in a place where it will be encountered by people who might not ordinarily see it is important, and perhaps it will expand the audience for art in general,” said Jim Woodson, TCU master of fine arts graduate program coordinator and painting professor.
The affiliation allows the art department to gain visibility in the community, as well as in the university itself, Woodson said.
Daimler also chose the artists and pieces they wanted to include, Woodson said.
More than 80 pieces of art from more than 40 artists make up the exhibit. The works include paintings, sculptures, etchings, photographs and other forms of art, which are all showcased in the exhibit catalog.
The catalog was one of the benefits for students just getting started in their art careers because it was a chance for their art to be published, Woodson said.
Amanda Allison, an art education coordinator who attended the opening celebration hosted by Daimler, said, “TCU made a fabulous showing.”
Having their work displayed alongside their professors’ and other art professionals’ is not only another benefit for students, but also an honor and an opportunity, Allison said.
“I think it shows a willingness on our part to collaborate with local businesses and think outside of the box about where and how art is displayed and enjoyed,” Allison said.