The Bowling Green State University Fine Arts Center Galleries Program contributes to the enrichment of the broader area community while supporting the academic mission of the University. Twelve to fourteen exhibitions are produced each year with the goals of stimulating and educating artists and art audiences, communicating ideas, and promoting the vitality and significance of the arts. These include challenging contemporary art by nationally recognized artists as well as faculty and student shows. Political, social and cultural themes are examined via artist presentations and written materials. The Gallery Program is committed to meeting the highest professional standards in all of its activities.
As the sole non-profit gallery in Wood County, and in keeping with University mandates, the Galleries Program maintains a strong commitment to community access and involvement. Value is accorded to diversity, representation of and from various viewpoints and the exploration of both commonalities and differences. The annual student and faculty exhibitions give community members the opportunity to view work by some of the most talented and successful artists of this region.
In 1992, substantial private donations enabled construction of two outstanding new exhibition spaces, The Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, and the Hiroko Nakamoto Japanese Ceremonial Arts Gallery for the demonstration of Japanese traditional arts. The balconied Willard Wankelman Gallery provides a substantial but more intimately scaled area for exhibits. All spaces, with the exception of the second floor of the Wankelman Gallery are wheelchair accessible.
All exhibitions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours during exhibitions are 10-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and Sunday 2-5 p.m. Attendance averages 75 people per day, approximately 25% of which are non-student community members. A mailing list of 200 on-campus and 2600 off-campus individuals and organizations sends information about gallery events throughout Northwest Ohio and beyond.
Exhibitions are funded by a modest gallery operating budget, which is supplemented by contributions from both internal and external sources. The Medici Circle generously supports the Annual New Music & Art Festival exhibitions and events, and the BGSU Parents Club contributes to the Undergraduate Art and Design Exhibitions each year. The Galleries Program has been fortunate to receive many external grants from the Ohio Arts Council, as well as funding from the Ohio Humanities Council, Arts Midwest and the Arts Council of Greater Toledo. Other recent sources of funding have included the Ethnic Cultural Arts Program and the recently dissolved Cultural Events Committee.