Those checking in to the The Study at Yale —the hotel on Chapel Street across from the School of Art —will now be greeted by an installation of artwork by students in the Yale School of Art.
Last week, The Study opened an art gallery in its main lobby for School of Art students to display their work. Known as the “Aisling Gallery” —the Gaelic word for “dream” or “vision” — the space will hold the works on a different student for six weeks at a time. The first artist selected, Njideka Akunyili ART ’11, opened her exhibit with a reception at The Studylast Wednesday.
The gallery is situated in the heart of the hotel lobby, right across from the Chapel St.entrance just past the hotel restaurant’s reception desk. The wall space reserved for student art continues into the area just before the hotel’s function rooms.
The Study’s owner Paul McGowan said the motivation for creating the Aisling Gallery was to give Yale art students the opportunity and the space to showcase their work, and to provide guests with a sampling of the talent at Yale.
“We’re thrilled to be activating this space with the work of such talented students,” he said, “It is very important to us that the hotel staff and guests feel connected to and involved with life on the Yale campus.”
The student artists will be chosen with the help of School of Art Associate Dean Samuel Messer ART ’81, who is acting as the liaison between School of Art students and the Study. But Messer said that eventually, The Study will select the students by directly reaching out to interested artists.
“It is really important to put people in touch with each other,” he said. “The Study is very open to new ideas and seems very eager to engage with the New Haven community, especially aspects that pertain to Yale University.”
Akunyili,a second-year painting and printmaking student,said Messer approached her at the second year MFA exhibition at the School of Art earlier this fall. Moir had seen her piece “Untitled” and thought it would do wonderfully as the main piece for the first Aisling Gallery exhibition, she said.
Akunyili creates drawings and paintings with Xerox transfers — in whichan image is transferred onto the work of art using a series of chemical processes — and incorporates collage elements. Her exhibit on display, entitled “In the Wake of” reflects her experience with straddling two cultures:simultaneously acclimating to American culture, while holding onto her African roots. Akunyili was born in Nigeria, and eventually immigrated to the United States as an adult.
In addition to giving the artists the opportunity to promote their work, the Study will hold opening night receptions and will give students who display artwork at the hotel $250 worth of store credit at Hull’s Art Supply and Framing.