Junior thesis art show held in downtown Hastings pop-up gallery

Eight junior art majors in the professional practices class presented their independent work in “In/Habit,” a pop-up gallery located in downtown Hastings, Nebraska. The show opened April 15 with the reception on April 27 at 2 p.m.

The show included work from juniors Hannah Adams, Dakota Boydston, Lauren Feden, Molly Loetterle, Melissa Loney, Morgan Stromer, Autumn Teff and Michael Wunderlich. Students made work in an independent studio outside of class, but also had critiques and studio visits during the course.

“We all had individual studio practices throughout the semester that the class essentially helped us foster and really allocate our time to making work outside of the class without it being directly focused on that. Within that class we also worked together to basically harness a bunch of different skill sets to put this show together,” Loney said. 

The class and pop-up gallery show was led by Aaron Badham, assistant professor of art. Badham directed the course to cover professional applications in an art career but also give students the ability to make personal work.

“It’s more about having some freedom in the studio and being independent and feeling less pressure to make, but being really involved in that making process and then be able to show it,” Badham said. “The work kind of developed independently of the class.”

Badham wanted to give students the opportunity to show their work even though the previous junior thesis class was replaced by professional practices, taking away the required annual junior thesis show. He reached out to Hastings College Board of Trustees member Justin Osborne, who has  connections with downtown development and property, to see if a possible pop-up show could take place downtown. After multiple planning phases, the show was able to take place.

The pop-up show gave the students the opportunity to showcase their work in a space more accessible to the Hastings community. Throughout its opening and during the reception, community members have come through the gallery to see the show.

“It’s so fun to engage that much of the community because I don’t think I’ve done that all my time here; this is the most I’ve seen the community members,” Feden said. “That’s most of the people who come in; they see the ‘art’ sign and just kind of show up … I think people come in and they’re kind of hesitant about coming in first, and then once they’re in here they walk around and spend a good amount of time in here.”

The students agreed that the experience of being able to display their work in a contemporary setting and having their work more accessible to the Hastings community was positive.

“I think this experience has been amazing. This building that we got to use is just truly a blessing because without it, we probably wouldn’t have this amazing of a turnout,” Wunderlich said. 

The gallery is located at 721 W. 1st St. under Block 27 Lofts and will run until May 10.