Community gallery comes to Museum of Northwest Art

January 11, 2019
The Museum of Northwest Art building in La Conner.

LA CONNER — Current and former Anacortes High School students will be the first to have their work displayed at the Museum of Northwest Art’s new community gallery.

The gallery, named “Outside In” for its inclusion of those outside the museum, opens Jan. 19 and will feature select poems by the Anacortes youths.

“This is a big move for an art museum because art museums tend to be more curated and dominated by the curator’s voice,” Education Associate Lauren Carroll-Bolger said. “This is an opportunity to give back to the community and make sure this is an institution that allows their voices to be heard.”

The eight confirmed poets — Jade Carter, Addi Garner, Geoffrey Hamilton, Alex Hanesworth, John Harrison, Will McCracken, Anna Prewitt and Layne Woodward — will likely each have one poem displayed, and some have been working with museum staff to have their poems recorded for MoNA’s podcast, “MoNA Moments.”

The gallery will also include interactive elements such as a chalkboard that will allow visitors to react to the art.

Carroll-Bolger said the idea for the gallery emerged following MoNA’s “Invisible” exhibition, which was curated by five classes of seventh-graders from Lucille Umbarger Elementary School in Burlington and former curator Chloe Dye Sherpe.

“That was a powerful experience for the students, not just as a collaborative experience, but also in seeing their work in the museum,” Carroll-Bolger said.

The community gallery will offer year-round, rotating exhibits created by the people the museum serves.

Poems will be available for viewing through March 24.

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