May 29, 2008
Vol. 27 No. 17

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    DOVA Temporary to provide needed exhibition space

    By Josh Schonwald
    News Office

    Photo by Yvette Dostatni

    The new gallery space in Hyde Park now being used by the Department of Visual Arts is called DOVA Temporary. It is located at 5228 S. Harper Ave. Faculty and students in the department say they hope the neighborhood location becomes a popular site for art lovers to visit, making the gallery more permanent, rather than temporary.

    The artwork of three Department of Visual Arts students became accessible Thursday, May 1 to art lovers as well as curious passersby near the new DOVA Temporary gallery space on 53rd Street in Hyde Park.

    The first of Graduate Masters in Fine Art Exhibitions was held in a 1,000-square-foot gallery, next to the Dr. Wax used record store. The new space at 5228 S. Harper St. in Hyde Park, the former location of a Chinese restaurant, is formally called DOVA Temporary and will solve the pressing need for a University gallery space.

    The DOVA program has made great progress in recent years and has received generous support, said Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Professor in Visual Arts. “But without an outlet, a platform for presentation, art is just a closed system of intellectual acrobatics. Without a public, art speaks only to itself.”

    The lack of exhibit space will be solved once the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts is completed—with its plans for a gallery for visual artists. As DOVA faculty members and students await completion of the new building, scheduled for 2011, the space on 53rd Street will serve as a temporary solution for the next three years.

    The goal of the new space is to house a wide range of shows, said Manglano-Ovalle. At least five of the shows will be curricular, and five of the shows will be non-curricular. “This space will not only function as a launching platform for our graduate students and a venue to project ourselves outwardly,” he said, “but it will also function in the reverse, by providing a conduit for the University to engage with culture at large.”

    DOVA picked the 53rd Street location, next to Dr. Wax and across from Harper Court, partly because it is a vibrant spot where the Hyde Park community mixes. DOVA members also liked the neighborhood storefront. “We thought it was perfect as an alternative arts space, where the University could meet with the community,” Manglano-Ovalle said.

    DOVA plans to use the space to bring artists and curators of local, national and international renown to exhibit and lecture on their work, and the department also will encourage affiliated University organizations to host events in the space.

    So far, DOVA Temporary has exhibited “and somewhere in between,” featuring MFA candidates Manol Georgieff, Joseph Miller and Clay Smith, which concluded Sunday, May 11. On Thursday, May 15, the exhibition shifted to “Cryptomnesia” featuring MFA candidates Jeremy Pelt, Val Snobeck and Brett Tracy. The show ran through Sunday, May 25. DOVA Temporary will begin featuring its final group of MFA candidates on Thursday, May 29, in the exhibition “One brick country in the Sea,” spotlighting the work of Jennifer Krantz, J. Thomas Pallas and Casey Smallwood.

    All exhibitions are free; each exhibition will remain open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For information about the art and artists, and a complete listing of exhibition schedules and information, visit: http://dova.uchicago.edu/mfa08.

    DOVA Temporary acquired its formal name because the space is intended as a stop-gap solution, but Manglano-Ovalle said, “Who knows? Let’s see how it goes. Maybe this space will become really popular, a companion space to the Logan Center. Maybe DOVA Temporary won’t be temporary.”