By Megan McConnell, Academic Counselor, UAA Advising
When classes are taxing their energies and the skies are gray, UW students have several oases of visual art to ease their burdens and help them escape to another place. Whether you're an art major or just an art lover, the variety of art found on campus, open for the viewing, can be a wonderful salve for the worn-out soul.
The Henry Art Gallery is the northwest's premier gallery for contemporary art. It is located on the western edge of the University of Washington campus at 15th Avenue NE and NE 41st Street. The museum's exhibitions bring important works of art to Seattle from throughout the world and provide a platform for the public to view works of art from the Northwest. These exhibitions and their related programs invite discussion about contemporary culture, politics, aesthetics and the traditions of visual art and design of the last two centuries. The Henry's permanent collection of over 20,500 objects includes late 19th and 20th century paintings, the extensive Monsen Collection of Photography, and a textile and costume collection, along with a rapidly growing collection of cutting-edge works in new media.
Founded in 1927, the Henry was the first public art museum in the state of Washington. The museum's major renovation and expansion, completed in April 1997, quadrupled the museum's size - from 10,000 square feet to over 40,000 square feet. Increased size allowed for the addition of a 154-seat auditorium, a multi-media gallery, café, bookstore and sculpture court.
Admission is free for UW students or any high school or college student with student identification. In addition, children 13 and younger are free. Anyone can visit free on Thursdays, thanks to a grant from the Boeing Company. If none of these "free" options work, general admission is $10.
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture offers visitors a glimpse into Northwest Coast Indian art; masks, baskets, and other artwork from a variety of cultures around the world; and photo exhibits that generally focus on the plethora of animal and plant wildlife native to the region. As a museum of natural history, visitors might also see collections of insects or sculptures of dinosaurs. But if cultural art is what you're looking for, this is the place to find it.
The Burke is located on the UW campus at the corner of NE 4th St. and 17th Ave. NE. Like at the Henry, admission is free for UW students, but students from other schools pay only $5 with school identification. General admission is $8, and everyone is admitted free the first Thursday of every month.
Admission is always free to the Jacob Lawrence Gallery in the School of Art (Art Building). The gallery, which displays the work of UW art students exclusively, began back in 1989. It's only 2,100 square feet, but it is a dynamic place to view art—exhibits change every 2-3 weeks, which is 2-3 times the pace of most galleries or museums. Students get the opportunity not only to have their artwork exhibited, but they also assist in the running of the gallery itself. The gallery is open noon to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
One needn't visit a museum to see art on campus, though. A walk around campus can also be a worthwhile way to view some wonderful artwork produced by UW's own students. Buildings such as Mary Gates Hall, Gerberding, Communications, Electrical Engineering, Art, the Husky Union Building (HUB) have large collections of student art that can be viewed and that provide insights into and appreciation for the quality of the work produced by students and emerging artists studying in the School of Art.
When you're tired from walking around campus, looking at artwork in its various locations, stop by Parnassus Café in the basement of the School of Art (Art 007). There, you can grab a cup of coffee and a snack and view...more art! Parnassus exhibits the work of student artists and is generally a great place to get away from winter/midterm/finals doldrums!