E&H Art Department’s Permanent Collection


Liam Cullinane

Joe Champagne photographs a piece for the online permanent collection.

The McGlothlin Center for the Arts now features its permanent art collection online. Currently, the gallery is closed to the public because of COVID-19. Joe Champagne, curator of the art gallery, created an online exhibit of the collection, so people could safely view the art.
The Art Department closed the gallery in the fall to ensure the safety of the community. Art Department Division Chair Charles Goolsby asked Champagne to arrange an online gallery from the permanent collection. Champagne worked with multiple people to create the online gallery.
With the gallery closed, Champagne said, “I turned it into a temporary photography studio, with the help of my senior gallery assistant Liam Cullinane, and began documenting selected works. I then sent these images to the Office of Marketing and Communications, where Director Leah Prater turned them into a web gallery.”
Art Department Chair Daniel VanTassell has watched art professors and students adjust to the new conditions of the pandemic. VanTassell said, “There’s no replacement for art classes, since they’re so hands-on, but I’ve been impressed with everyone’s ability to adapt and keep a good attitude.”
VanTassell is grateful for the digital opportunities that the pandemic has brought to the Art Department. VanTassell said, “There have been so many moments. . . that have created good ideas, so learning to go digital has been great.” In addition to the online permanent collection, the Art Department also offers a 3D tour of the art gallery.
Typically, the gallery features the work of many emerging artists. The McGlothlin Center’s webpage describes the artwork as a “wide array of quality media. . . with the primary intent of introducing exhibitions not normally seen in our region.”
Before the pandemic, artists would come to the McGlothlin Center to offer lectures, seminars and demonstrations, which were included in Lyceums, a crucial part of Emory & Henry College’s liberal arts education. In today’s socially-distanced lifestyle, these lyceums are currently operating over Zoom. Senior students will also showcase their artwork over Zoom at the end of the semester.
The McGlothlin Center plans to reopen to the public when it is safe again. Until then, multiple online opportunities will be available for the community to experience.