University Gallery

Art + Design Announces New Exhibition Program and Partners

by Mara Parker

SDSU School of Art and Design will launch a new exhibition program in summer 2020 which will include a revitalization of the school’s on-campus galleries, collaborative and multidisciplinary art and design events, and a new partnership project with leading local galleries and museums.

The School of Art + Design has approximately 5800 square feet of on-campus gallery space. In recent years, the school’s four galleries have been dedicated to showcasing student art while the SDSU Downtown Gallery has primarily exhibited the work of national and international contemporary artists and designers. The new exhibition program will continue to dedicate significant gallery space for student-led exhibitions and projects, and will also bring exhibitions of contemporary artists and collectives to campus. Due to budget constraints across the University, SDSU’s Downtown Gallery, the university’s off-campus exhibition venue for the past ten years, will close permanently on June 30. The School feels the significant loss of that space but has turned the misfortune into an opportunity to revitalize campus programming and expand community connections.

“Contemporary art in the public realm leverages the unique capacity of creative practice to facilitate expression, find common ground, build empathy, and bring communities together, whether to celebrate, to problem-solve, or to experience a performance or event,” said Professor Annie Buckley, director of SDSU’s School of Art + Design and founding director of the Prison Arts Collective. “We are looking forward to having our on-campus galleries serve as a hub for local, national, and international exhibitions and, simultaneously, as sites for student-led and student-curated projects.”

In addition, the new exhibition program at the SDSU School of Art + Design will also include an innovative coalition called ‘Gather.’ Gather is currently comprised of four partners:

Gather partners will collaborate on exhibitions on and off-campus, share audiences, and embark on projects including cross-curatorial platforms, panels on issues relevant to our local communities and beyond, and opportunities for professional growth for students and emerging artists.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate with these fantastic institutions in a partnership that we feel will be mutually beneficial to our organizations and communities, both on campus and off,” said Buckley. “It’s been fun in that it’s a true collaboration; our goals and projects are still forming organically each time we meet and we are excited to share audiences and embark on new projects.”

Another one of the Gather partners, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), is eager to share its resources and expertise with the School of Art + Design. Through curriculum collaboration with faculty, MCASD hopes to introduce students to the museum’s collection of thematic art such as Latinx/Chicanx/Border art; Art and Activism; and art surrounding Feminism and Gender issues.

Through MCASD’s involvement in Gather, Cristina Scorza, education curator at MCASD, looks forward to strengthening ties and establishing new connections within the community. “Gather brings together four organizations, their resources, and expertise to imagine new collaborations and to expand the reach we have in our region, with the goals of supporting the artistic community of San Diego and Tijuana, of inspiring the new generation of cultural administrators, and of embracing new audiences,” Said Scorza.

SDSU School of Art + Design also plans to continue its ongoing collaborations with the Mingei Museum, the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, and other local arts organizations.

For more information about the SDSU School of Art + Design visit

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.