4m2 Gallery: a Professional Art Space Inside JCU
Launched in 2013, the 4m2 Gallery is the first art space at JCU and is entirely managed and curated by the student-led Art History Society. Although it’s only four square meters, hence its name, the 4m2 Gallery is a professional space with a young permanent collection as well as a distinctive online presence.
The gallery is situated in the Aurelian Wing of the Frohring Library. The setting echoes the concept of the gallery which gravitates around the idea of time and creation. Contemporary artworks are immersed among art books which encompass centuries of art historical knowledge. The creation of new artworks mirrors the creation of new ideas and research, building a sophisticated dialogue between the art object and the object of the book.
Each semester the Art History Society curates a show, with the aim of encouraging a slow, dense experience of art. During Fall 2017, the 4m2 Gallery hosted The Omniverse Dilemma, a collection of small scale works by William Pettit, artist, poet, and JCU professor. The works combine research in locally sourced and homemade materials, and physical and scientific forms. They express the relationship between chance and structure, a biology of natural pigments which reflects the macro and micro cosmic order. On the day of the show’s finissage, November 16th, the Art History Society also unveiled the new online gallery, a digital art space where all past exhibitions can be re-visited.
Tangible evidence of the growing importance of the gallery was the donation in November 2016 of Vanguard by JCU professor and photographer Serafino Amato. The black and white photograph, permanently displayed in the gallery, fittingly acts as a backdrop to students’ studies. As the workman in the picture digs and looks for something into an old industrial container, students come to the library to dig into books and into their own minds in search of answers, ideas, and knowledge.
Says student and Fall 2017 gallery coordinator Cristiana Cordova, “The growing professionalism of the gallery is strengthening its role and identity as an art space, both within and outside of JCU. The 4m2 Gallery is now at a turning point of its history, with an exciting future ahead of it.”