Three historic phone booths were given a new purpose as Tiny Galleries in Knight Library last year. Meant to enhance and revitalize the front entrance halls, these exhibits provoke thought for the viewers of these scaled-down immersive experiences.
“The Tiny Galleries project provides opportunities for UO students to reflect on and apply what they are learning and researching, engage more deeply with the broader campus community, and contribute to academic discourse,” said Director of Access Services David Ketchum, who oversees the annual project.
This year, we welcome our second cohort of curators:
- Conner Gordon (MFA, Art, Class of ’24) with “The Sisyphus Problem”, Room 111
- Elise O'Brien (masters in Folklore & Public Culture and Landscape Architecture, Class of '26) and Michael Mitchell (MLA, Class of ’26) with “Art and the Unhoused”, Room 112
- Kai Walton (Marine Biology, Class of '23) with “Lost at Sea”, Room 103
Join us for the Opening, 5–6:30 p.m. on October 6 in the Knight Library Browsing Room (Room 106), to hear the student curators’ presentations about their galleries. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome!
Can’t make the opening? Then come see the winning students' exhibits during the Knight Library's open hours. You'll find the booths in the east and west vestibules near the north entrances.
Each curator had to prepare a proposal as part of the selection process. Winning curators each receive $1,500. Here are some insights from those winners into their gallery goals and concepts:
Conner Gordon: “The Sisyphus Problem”
“On my daily walk between the University of Oregon and my apartment in downtown Eugene, I always find myself looking down. The ground around campus is littered with an astonishing variety of urban detritus: utility boxes whose functions are unknown, leftover construction materials from some long-past project, and discarded bits of trash rearranged by happenstance or an intention I cannot quite parse. After a while, I began to think of these objects as handholds for slippery systems of meaning: glimpses of an unseen event or underlying infrastructure whose full nature was only hinted at by the terrain. My photographs of these objects took on the quality of an investigation, an attempt to figure out what lay below the surface or behind the curtain.”
Elise O'Brien & Michael Mitchell: “Art and the Unhoused”
My exhibit “aims to explore the transformative power of art supplies, shed light on the unmet basic needs of the unhoused population, and provide a platform for the biographies and artworks of houseless artists. By addressing the lack of access to art supplies and amplifying the voices and talents of the unhoused, this exhibit seeks to challenge societal perceptions and create a dialogue around homelessness, poverty, and creative expression.”
Kai Walton: “Lost at Sea”
“The purpose of my exhibit is to visualize the journey of finding queer representation in my field of marine biology. As a queer person, navigating a majority of sciences can be a rather isolating experience. Growing up with an interest in marine biology, knowing I was queer from a young age, left me grasping at straws to be able to visualize myself in the field. It wasn't until I began volunteering at my local aquarium growing up that I met another queer person in the field. If I hadn't met him when I had, I doubt I would be where I am today.”