The walls of the Green Gallery were adorned with paintings, photographs and graphic media, but it was not a typical art opening.
Monday night, the kickoff event for the Yale Graduate Art School Salons featured an exhibit of first years’ artwork at the Yale School of Art. The atmosphere reminiscent of the Salons’ French inspiration, students from the School of Drama, School of Music, School of Art, School of Architecture and the School of Management mixed and mingled, marking the end of isolated artistic study at Yale, group creator Hannah Grannemann DRA ’08 SOM ’08 said.
Grannemann, who is currently enrolled in a joint theater and nonprofit management program, recognized that students who are working in different fields, but with similar interests in art, had no vehicle for communication. The goal of the Salons, which will take place once a month at each of the arts schools in succession, is to foster interaction, she said.
“When you think back to the sixties, all the composers and painters knew each other,” Grannemann said. “This is an opportunity for us to see each other’s work.”
Each Salon will showcase the work of students at the school hosting the event, giving attendees the opportunity to respond to the art in a social setting.
School of Art Dean Robert Storr, one of the many art aficionados at Monday night’s show, said the Salons are excellent preparation for the interconnected world beyond Yale, in which graduates will collaborate between disciplines in their careers.
“It’s exactly what they’ll do in the big world,” Storr told the News.
Ann Welch SOM ’08, co-head of the Arts and Culture Club at the School of Management with Grannemann, agreed with Storr. Having experienced real-life interactions between the art world and the business world while working as a paralegal at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation from 2004 until 2006, Welch said the Salons have post-graduate application.
“This is something to bring the next generations of artists, arts managers and arts lawyers together,” she said. “We’re all working on the same problems from different angles.”
Grannemann and Welch, two business students with a penchant for art, began planning the Salons last April, but their brainchild really took off when they received funding in the fall from the School of Management, the Provost for the Arts and each of the art schools involved, Grannemann said. Yale has a campaign for the arts right now, she added.
Assistant to the Provost Jack Meyers helped the students acquire funding. The Provost’s Office saw this as “an opportunity to establish a communication among the professional schools,” Meyers said.
About one hundred people showed up to the event, mostly art students who came to see the show. But there were several dozen attendees who said they heard about the Salons initiative from a Facebook invite and will continue to attend the group’s events.
Jane Jung DRA ’10, a student in the theater management program, said it was a smart way to cross the various schools’ disciplines, given that the opportunities for interaction are generally limited.
Scott Andresen ART ’09 said having each school host a night is the best organizational method.
“It’s relaxed and it’s not pretentious,” Andresen said. “A little beer and little wine.”
As for the show, it too had an interdisciplinary element. Students from the photography and sculpture departments were paired up to curate each other’s work. Second-year students in the painting and graphic arts departments chose from among the works of the first-year students to exhibit.
Grannemann said the turnout exceeded her expectations given the time constraints most students face.
“All of the graduate programs are so rigorous within each discipline, it can be hard to take the time to look at art forms outside your own, even when you know there are incredibly talented people at another school right next door that are your generation and who you probably have a lot in common with,” Grannemann said in an e-mail to the News.
The next Salon is at the Drama School on Feb. 22 for a performance of Pericles directed by Erik Pearson DRA ’09 with a similar reception to follow.