For Katie White, SY ’13, art is more than just self-indulgence—and this is, in part, what inspired her and Dana Glaser, JE ’13 to create the new undergraduate organization Art Trade. “Art is meant to be an expression of something that is of larger meaning to other people,” White explained. Art Trade, then, is all about finding that larger meaning: the organization makes it a primary goal to reach out to those with an interest in art that are not currently part of Yale’s art community.
The organization’s first event is Art Rent, scheduled for Fri., Nov. 30, a hybrid exhibition and silent auction where students can view student-created art, and enter a drawing in order to bring home a piece for their dorm wall for a ten dollar deposit plus the five dollars for hanging. The group conceived this idea last spring, inspired by the JE Art Rental. “[Dana and I] saw an opportunity to have the art that art majors were producing be more accessible to students on campus,” White recalls.
“A lot of my friends study the same thing that I do and are interested in the same things I am,” says Grier Barnes, SM ’14, a member of the Art Trade team. “Having something like Art Trade would connect with all kinds of Yale students, and also Masters and professors, with something so accessible like art. I think it’s a way of communication more so than something like Model UN or Dems that would be insular by its own nature.”
In addition to providing an access point for those on the periphery of the art world, Art Trade seeks to provide a broader audience for artists themselves. “Usually if you’re an art student, you produce a lot of work, and most of it either sits in your studio or under your bed gathering dust,” White says. “Or it’s shown, but it’s shown in the context of where your immediate friends or roommates will come, but it doesn’t leave Green Hall.”
One factor limiting the audience is that visual art is not performative, but rather a concrete thing. Art Trade provides a way for student work to “physically walk” out of Green Hall and reach the larger Yale community, White says.
Kat Oshman, PC ’13, an artist whose work will be shown in the exhibition, points to the relative lack of outlets as a set-back for students who would like to share their art. “There are so many different plays people can go see, and music concerts, and a cappella,” Oshman explains. “With [visual] art, there’s the undergraduate art exhibition. You can be in that and select one to two pieces, but otherwise there aren’t many venues for sharing art with the rest of Yale.”
White and Glaser plan to make Art Rent an annual fall event. The rest of the agenda will allow the Yale community to further enjoy art, adding color to people’s lives as well as their blank white dorm walls.