Student art gallery goes virtual

The LMC art department found a way to host the gallery while still adhering to COVID protocols.


Graphic from Weston Hopkins.

Galleries have long been considered an imperative place of gathering for art-lovers. For artists, their hard work and creative messages are displayed to a large audience of people who can view and appraise assorted works to their heart’s content. The atmosphere of an art gallery is peaceful and serene, which may lead some to believe that replicating one online is impossible. LMC Gallery Director Carol Ladewig disproves this with the recent opening of the Los Medanos College 2021 Student Art Exhibition. 

The Student Art Exhibition is essentially a fully online experience. Visitors can walk around the gallery using the arrow keys on their computers, and drag their mouse to view the student art placed neatly onto the virtual walls. 

The virtual gallery includes couches, coffee tables, and even windows. This was done intentionally, said Ladewig, to enhance visitors’ feelings of immersion.

“One of the things it does is give you a sense of scale,” she explained, “you can’t tell how big or small something is, and this one does a really good job of showing the appropriate scale.”

Art galleries are often a window into the mind of the artists, becoming a form of self expression that is publicized for all to see. Douglas Barron, an LMC art student, comments on what it means for students to be able to display their work virtually.

“I think it’s crucial, with less distraction, you become more introspective, you start to go in and think about things,” said Barron. “All of that kind of just bled into the work, all of the work. It provides a platform to creatively release, and deal with stuff.”

For Melissa Gee, a former LMC student who recently transferred to UC Santa Cruz, this will be her first submission to a gallery of any sort, and she urges others to experience it for themselves.

“It’s a really amazing experience to get to see other people’s work, different skill sets and different art styles,” said Gee, “It’s not better or worse than in-person, but it’s definitely a different experience.”

Whether or not virtual art galleries will become more prevalent as the threat of COVID-19 continues remains unknown. But until the doors of in-person art galleries open again, there are resources such as the Kunstmatrix platform, currently hosting the LMC art show, and unyielding perseverance, to help art students continue to share their passion with others.

An online reception for the LMC 2021 Student Art Exhibition will be held Feb. 26 at 5 p.m., featuring an award presentation from the Art Guild of the Delta and the LMC juror Jan Wurm. The exhibition will remain on display in the virtual gallery through April 20. 

You can find the gallery at this link: LMC 2021 Student Art Exhibition.