by Zac Gordon, Staff Writer, October 2021
“Foster Gallery is the best place in all of Nobles!” Chrissy Cadigan (Class I) shouted as she and Emma Skelly (Class I), Foster Gallery’s two Social Media Directors, stood outside of the library. Nestled between the two performing arts stages, Lawrence Auditorium and Vinik Theatre, lives a creative enclave that appeals to everyone. With the recent creation of a new TikTok account, @noblesfostergallery, Foster Gallery is clearly the place to be on campus. If you haven’t seen it yet, a video on the TikTok account highlights the excitement across the community, from Dean of Students Mark Spence to Joey Duggan (Class II), as they all share that Foster Gallery is their favorite place on campus.
What had many excited about the gallery’s previous exhibit was that anyone and everyone was invited to collaborate. The room that was typically decorated with work from prestigious artists all over the world had been transformed into a living canvas. I found myself using tape to add intricate shapes to its walls, excited to see how someone would take what I had done and expand upon it. On September 24, Foster Gallery’s ‘Peel Party’ left a geometric gray-on-gray pattern. In a recent TikTok from Foster, hordes of students can be seen helping with the epic endeavor.
On November 15, Sheida Soleimani will take over Foster! Many people may agree that what makes this gallery special is the visiting artists who represent a diversity of backgrounds and media. Emma Skelly shared that she is excited about Soleimani’s upcoming show “because [Nobles hasn’t] had a lot of artists representing the Middle East.” Artists from the past five years include Colleen Fitzgerald (2016), Tommy Matthews (2017), Nayda Cuevas (2018), and Megan Bent (2019). These artists’ works have been exhibited across the country, from exhibitions at The Vera Project in Seattle to The Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts in Providence, RI.
Foster Gallery opened in 2006 with the goal of transforming the space into a “classroom that explores the fundamental importance of visual literacy by grappling with issues of identity and in engaging in critical conversations about artwork and the world views expressed by artists and community members,” as the Foster Gallery mission states. Prior to 2006, Nobles displayed art in Dawson Gallery, the middle school art wing between the classrooms of the first floor. However, the space, home to current student work, did not feel adequate to host outside artists. The creation of Foster Gallery as part of the Henderson Art Center provides an opportunity to bring together current students and visiting artists.
In previous years, Foster Gallery also hosted the Artist-in-Residence Program. Director of Foster Gallery John Dorsey said, “The program seeks to foster collaborative relationships between the artist and the school’s community of students, faculty, and parents.” Due to the pandemic, Foster Gallery was unable to run this program last year, nor will they have an Artist-in-Residence Program this school year. Nonetheless, everyone is keeping their fingers crossed for next year.
Dorsey executes Foster’s mission daily, explaining that, “Ultimately, we want Foster Gallery to be a resource for the entire community. We want to be able to support the work of the school across all disciplines [and] hope that visitors to the gallery will engage with the work, whatever that might mean.” This space was one of many that we missed out on when we were virtual, but now we have an opportunity to experience all different genres of visual arts. The opportunity to now engage with Foster Gallery in person will be a source of inspiration for the community as the space evolves throughout the coming year.
Below is a schedule of all upcoming visiting artists to Foster Gallery in 2021-2022. Be sure to check them out!
September 1 – 24. Connectedness. A community-wide, interactive installation.
October 4- November 5. The Faculty Art Show. A biennial exhibit.
November 15 – December 17. Sheida Soleimani. Providence-based photographer
February 3 – March 11. Hamzat Raheem N’13. Boston-based sculptor
May 5 – June 3. AP ‘22. The annual student show of AP artists in three disciplines.