The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Art students continue to fight for the Atkinson Gallery’s existence

Patrick Maravelias
City College art students gather to discuss the uncertain future of the Atkinson Gallery, with student and gallery employee Journey Coward (center) on Tuesday, March 10, in the Humanities Building on East Campus. The future gallery exhibits have been put on hiatus due to lack of funding.

Students and faculty continue to try and raise funds in hopes of securing a director for the Atkinson Gallery to stay alive.

Sarah Cunningham, the gallery director for the past three years, is at the end of her contract. And while students like Journey Coward, a gallery employee, is doing everything he can to get donors––the money still isn’t there.

Scheduled events are in the works and hopes of a large gala are in place for next month.

Art department chair Joy Kunz is hopeful that the gallery events will stay in tact but admits that without the money, the program will be significantly reduced.

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“There is always a possibility that if we get a donation we could continue it, so that’s always our first hope and goal,” said Kunz. “Our plan B is that we have a dramatically reduced program and someone who is part time, teach one class adjunctly and run the gallery, so we would have fewer shows and fewer artist lectures.”

While students are meeting together to try and donate art in support of saving the gallery, Kunz is working with Geoff Green, the new chief executive officer of the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College. The two of them and other faculty are trying to help find potential donors and people who believe in the arts programs.

Coward admits that finding people to help is not the easiest thing. “We need more resources. I’ve only been here for two years, what can I really do in half a year?”

Many art students were upset they were not aware of the dire situation of the funding for the gallery until a couple months ago, feeling hopeless in the sense that if they knew sooner they might have been able to do more.

“I gave as best of an effort as I could give in four or five months time,” said Coward. “Art most of the time is always put last.”

The goal for these passionate art students is to make people more aware and have them understand how important an art presence is.

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