Gallery Director Kevin Mercer is working with Jackson Dinsdale Art Center (JDAC) gallery assistants to create “Fizz.” It is a digital overflow of the JDAC Galleries to provide additional content about JDAC-exhibited artists and to create more diversity in the list of featured artists.
The gallery assistants are Senior Melissa Loney, managing editor for Fizz; Junior Jordan Ismaiel, design editor; and Junior Karlie Norton, content editor.
The idea came from Mercer around a month and a half ago, and it became a reality about two and a half weeks later. The team coordinated with the Office of Marketing and Communications to get the website off the ground and then write the first articles. Initial funding was provided by the approval of an innovation and creativity grant, which provides honorariums to the artists featured and simultaneously showcases their intentions to the college in a professional manner, according to Loney.
Fizz is meant to act as a new resource for students, faculty, staff and alumni experiencing the art exhibited in the galleries. It can showcase different elements of the artists’ work than seen in the galleries and give fuller insight into their practices as a whole.
“It enables us to feature more artists… It allows a lot of alumni to interact with the work we have in the galleries in a way they haven’t before,” Loney said. “The Fizz allows you to experience the artists in more ways than just artist statements.”
Fizz has posted about current gallery exhibition artists Ghi Fremaux and Gary Staab ‘89, along with features on all of the Scintilla Art Box Project Artists.
While still in the beginning stages, Fizz is to become an online curatorial space, connecting JDAC galleries to other artists and galleries all around the nation and internationally. In all, the team hopes to create an art community that is rooted in Hastings, Nebraska and Hastings College.
This new form of communication for the galleries is unique to HC, according to Loney. Other colleges may have online supplements to their galleries, but according to Loney, they often focus on art by students and are not meant to be curatorial. Taking on the role of creating a curatorial space within digital content is a relatively new role.
The team’s role within Fizz is currently part of their job as gallery assistants, which is paired to their time spent as gallery attendants at the desk.