Emily Coffey ~ Staff Writer
The Daura Gallery at the University of Lynchburg will host Third Thursdays once a month for the 2019-2020 school year.
The new Academic and Public Engagement Coordinator, Laura Cole, plans, coordinates, and promotes each Third Thursday with the help from student workers and others. She shared that Third Thursday is a new program where the gallery is open after regular hours on the third Thursday of every month during an exhibition with art, music, and refreshments. According to Cole, the program started this semester and the second Third Thursday will be Thursday, Oct. 17 from 4-7 p.m.
Cole said, “We hope that this will make the Daura Gallery more accessible to people on campus and in the community, who may not have a chance to come by during our regular hours.”
She shared that for music, the gallery has live musicians. Cole also shared that last month, local musician Jeffrey Wooters played as a strolling violinist for part of the evening. According to her, the artists whose works are featured in the current exhibition played together as strolling violinists at art openings and the gallery wanted to show that to viewers.
Cole said, “This week, we will have UL violinist, Colin Coviello. For future exhibitions, we will want to connect the music in some way like we are doing now, so it may be different.”
According to Cole, students should come because it is a fun way for students to see the gallery who cannot come due to their schedules. She stated that the music and refreshments add another element to it, and she hopes that it creates a welcoming atmosphere for students to experience art.
Cole said, “We believe that art is for everyone, and this is one way for us to express hat to students. Our current exhibition, Into the outer reaches of a more golden land: the paintings of Connie Fox and featuring sculpture by William King, is absolutely wonderful, and we really want everyone to see it.”
She shared that people can benefit by coming because they can experience art and music, but also connect with others in discussion or anything else that may come up from the exhibit. She also shared that museums are meant to bring people together and encourage discourse and engagement. Cole hopes that this program will help the community, as a university, to enter into that broader community. She said, “I hope that Third Thursdays will continue to bring people from the surrounding community as well as our campus community into the gallery.”
Based on Third Thursday’s success in September, Cole hopes that the program will continue to grow and attract more people. She looks forward to seeing the coming evenings unfold and for new people to experience the gallery and see what they have to offer. Cole’s favorite part about Third Thursday is seeing so many people come into the gallery and watching their reactions to the art. According to her, not everyone always feels or sees the same thing when they look at a piece of artwork and she loves seeing the engagement that people have when they talk to each other about their experiences with it.
Besides Third Thursday, the Daura Gallery hosts other events including a Children’s Workshop on color field painting on Oct. 26 from 9-11 a.m., poetry readings, a poetry workshop on Oct. 31 from 1-3 p.m., and more.
The next Third Thursday will be on Nov. 21, where there will also be a film screening of The New York School that will start at 5 p.m.