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A Gallery for the Books: Sunny Monaghan opens a student curated art gallery in MCLA’s Mark Hopkins

Photo taken by Sunny Monaghan

SmART Commons Blog co-editor Mannie McBride, interviews MCLA student Sunny Monaghan about their up-and-coming student art exhibit in Mark Hopkins. 

M: What made you want to create or feature an exhibit like this one?  

S: A lot of people don not get opportunities to present their art, especially in a semiprofessional way without it being a professional setting. Without there being several hoops to jump through. This is a good step forward into that kind of professional experience and to be able to say, “Yeah, I did this like semiprofessional presentation of my art” which include the expectations of an actual gallery. I would like to highlight those voices and give people a chance to have that experience. It is important. 


M: Why did you pick Mark Hopkins of all the buildings?  

S: It has such little foot traffic. There are so few reasons to go there. This will be another good reason to go there. On top of possibly highlighting the other resources there such as: the Zen Den, Trio, Academic Advising and Support, Disability Resources, the AT lab and Tutoring.  

Photo taken by Sunny Monaghan

M: Do the pieces of art stay, or is there a rotation schedule that you are creating? 

S: I am hoping for it to be rotating but that all happens after I am gone. So I am hoping to secure that and get that to continue, post me graduating that would be. That is the goal to have a rotating gallery and to feature up and coming voices each semester.  

M: Why do you think that it's important to give young upcoming artists this opportunity to showcase their work?  

S: I think experience and, on top of that, it is so nerve wracking to put yourself out there. This is low stakes. We accepted everybody that gave us the information we needed. It is basically guaranteed that your art is going to be put up. You could put this on your resume so that is a good opportunity, and that way other people see the art. Being able to recognize and see that “this person that I have a class with makes gorgeous art and I had no idea.” It is cool to recognize people and then put them with their art that you have been seeing. I had no idea the kind of art JC created.  

M: Isn't his stuff amazing?  

S: Yeah! It is art like that and being able to realize, “Oh, I did not know this was your style or even that you created something like that”. A lot of people do not know that I am an artist and are very surprised to find that out. So, it is interesting.  

Photo taken by Sunny Monaghan

M: What are your promotion tactics? And how are you getting people to come see the gallery?  

S: Promotion tactics is a big one because Student Engagement is so hard on this campus. We started by tabling in the marketplace last semester. Just to even get people to submit art in the first place. To promote the gallery, we will probably table again and make flyers like we did last semester.  

M: Advertisings hard.  

S: Advertising is so hard! We are hoping to open by the end of March. I am excited. We started framing last week and I got to start formatting the artist statements. It is coming together, slowly but surely. It is working itself out. 

M: We are looking forward to it!  

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