Tarble Arts Center reopens for Fall 2021 season


Iyanna Stanton, Staff Writer

After a year of being closed, the Tarble Arts Center finally opened back up starting with a grand opening. The grand opening was held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. Due to COVID-19, people still had to wear their masks, and there was a limited capacity.

Jennifer Seas, the director and chief curator of the Tarble, said that the COVID-19 pandemic affected their students and their work by closing the place down.

“I felt like the shows that we had lined up at the Tarble were really amazing shows, but those artists had been in lockdown,” Seas said. “And they haven’t been able to go to their studios, it is really hard to be shipping things back and forth, and none of the artists felt comfortable moving forward with the projects at that time.”

As a collective, they decided to pause and reflect on moving forward with their art and COVD-19. Due to being a public institution, it was harder to make changes due to being open all the time.

“Why don’t we stay closed? I’m new [and] I need to learn more about this place,” Seas said. “We badly needed renovation.”

Deciding that the Tarble needed some new changes, they decided to shut down and use the lockdown to their advantage. Classes went online to be safer for students and workers.

“A place of belonging, a place of expression, and a place to bring who you are to the exhibitions here and maybe learn something,” Seas said.

The exhibitions at the Tarble changes every semester. During the grand opening, the exhibition presented a dark and empty feeling filled with expressions and emotions of the artist’s work. However, the Tarble also provided a lively and social setting for those at the grand opening to enjoy.

The Tarble Arts Center shows international art from professional artists, but they also have exhibitions of art created by Eastern students. In the spring, the Tarble will host a student show for undergraduates, which is juried by a group of guests made up of professional artists. They look through the work of different students for the show.

The Tarble will also host a thesis exhibition for Master’s and art students. Also, students from K-12 get to display their art and a community art show in the spring.

The Tarble Arts Center shows a variety of visual arts. Art styles like performance dancing, music, painting and commission essays from writers. They are celebrating the arts in all forms.

President David Glassman appeared at the grand opening.

“My favorite part is walking through the door and seeing it open with exhibitions,” Glassman said.

Grace O’Brien, an Eastern alum, was one of the student workers at the Tarble. She decided to attend the Tarble’s grand opening.

“It was a mix between nostalgia and kind of a refreshing to come back with the new look and see it grow since my time here,” O’Brien said.

Elena Singleton, a senior art student who has been working at the Tarble for three years, expressed her feelings toward the grand opening.

“It’s actually really big for us. I’ve been working here for three years, and this is the biggest opening I’ve seen so far,” Singleton said.

The Tarble ended the night off with a performance from musicians and Eastern instructors Will Porter and Brad Decker that included both auditory and visual art.

“We’re both really inspired by the Yoko Ono: Mend Piece, this concept of destroying and rebuilding, and it really resonated with us,” Porter said.

Decker said this piece is a response to everything that has happened the past two years.

“This piece is kind of a response to our last two years of our lives being taken apart, and a lot of what this piece speaks to is putting back together what has been ripped apart,” Decker said.