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The Blue & Gray Press | September 26, 2017

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Student Gallery’s First Opening

MATT ELLIOTT

Beth Wilkins/Bullet

Beth Wilkins/Bullet

Beth Wilkins/Bullet

Beth Wilkins/Bullet

On Friday, Nov. 2, University of Mary Washington seniors Terry Moore and Bobby Bass opened their new gallery Sights & Sounds.  The gallery, which is located at 915 Lafayette Blvd, had a grand opening party from 2-8pm with food, live music and student art.
Moore, a studio art major, is still an active student who plans to graduate in the spring.  The idea for the gallery’s space did not originally begin with visions of an art gallery.
With dreams of working for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, Moore had no intentions of starting a business.
“I never would have thought of opening up an art gallery.  The whole idea is really exciting,” said Moore.
A friend of Moore’s, Robert Bass, mentioned that he was interested in opening a business and that Moore could sell his art work there.
“The conversation started with [Bobby and me] talking about me selling my art in his store and it finished with the both of us going into business together to open a gallery,” said Moore.
Art was on sale, but the food and the music were free. To add artistic flair, Moore used stenciled designs on campus walk instead of flyers to advertise the show.
The gallery exhibited art primarily from Mary Washington students, ranging from more traditional art, which was displayed on the first floor, and unconventional art like interpretive sculpture and sketches on the second.
The opening produced a large turnout that increased as the night progressed.
The musical guests included Junk Science, Funkasaurus Rex and Grave-Robbing Extravaganza (GRE). Junk Science’s eclectic beats matched the unique artwork, setting a positive tone for the remainder of the evening.
Funk Rex has shifted in a new direction after their previous guitarist graduated, and they gained MC Dave Glover and flautist Kilian Griffith.  Playing their famous “Taxi Sex” and covers of Gnarls Barkley and Common, Funk Rex has broadened their music to incorporate hip-hop.
The show was also a treat for GRE fans as they played a new song they have labored over for months, clocking in at more than 15 minutes.
Bass, a business major, said the idea for the gallery continues to evolve.  Bass mentioned building six individual studios in the upstairs space for music.
“We eventually want the building split into studio space for students work on their own projects and gallery space to display student art to be sold by commission,” said Bass.
The building process, though difficult, has been easier for the two students than normal.  According to Bass and Moore, the owner of the building, Allen Howard, is not your typical “landlord.”
“Mr. Howard has been very helpful and visionary in the building process, suggesting ideas and finding equipment for us,” said Moore.
Howard, who had art of his own displayed in the gallery, plans on even incorporating video art into the gallery. The three partners intend for the gallery to serve as an opportunity for student artists to gain experience with selling their art and dealing with the public circuit. Moore and Bass plan for the gallery to be a part of the First Friday gallery openings held in Fredericksburg every first Friday of every month.  Moore also plans on holding poetry readings, drum circle performances, and break-dancing shows on the other Fridays each month..
One hurdle that Bass and Moore may have to clear is University affiliation.  The gallery is not officially associated with the University, but affiliation brings sponsorship and funds to help the gallery operate.  Moore feels the University can build on and develop the gallery and the ideas behind it.
“If the gallery becomes successful, hopefully the University can realize the gallery’s full potential,” said Moore.

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