Over the last year, artists have been in the frustrating position of not being able to show the work they created in public venues. That’s even been the case for burgeoning artists like the graduating MFA students at Texas Christian University.
MFA students compile a body of work during their studies that they present at their thesis exhibitions. This year’s candidates, like last year’s candidates, were unable to show their work because non-students are still not allowed on the TCU campus.
Fortunately, TCU Professor of Art Cameron Schoepp and his wife, Terri Thornton, curator of education at the Modern Art Museum, had a solution. When the pandemic started, the two artists finished and launched their outdoor, drive-by gallery, Blind Alley Projects.
Although the structure is small – just 8 feet by 10 feet – it stands out in the quiet residential neighborhood on the edge of the cultural district.
“Basically it’s a small box with a glass front so you know the whole space is exposed through this glass window,” said Schoepp. “It’s almost like a storefront window. We also have a living roof, which I think plays an important role that has native prairie plants on it and stone walls.”
The curated gallery space isn’t big enough for some students’ complete shows, but it allows for a concentrated representation of their work, an ambitious gesture to show what they were thinking as they came to the end of their degree, said Thornton.
“It’s not their thesis shows for sure, by any stretch,” she said. “But it does speak to the ideas that you can see represented in those thesis shows.”
Liminal Space 2021 is a series of four independent exhibitions by TCU MFA students that runs through June 3.
- Clint Jerritt Bargers, April 11—22
- Ashley Stecenko. April 25—May 6
- Chris Wicker, May 9—20
- Zeke Williams, May 23—June 3
“The title is Liminal Space, so it’s about that kind of space between and that speaks to kind of physicality of the gallery as well as for this exhibition,” said Thornton. “It speaks to this place where these graduates are.”
Without a beat, Schoepp picks up, “It’s this transitional moment. This space in between for these artists who are beginning their professional careers. Some are on their way already, but they still have one foot in academia, and then one foot leaving as they go out on their own soon.”
You can drive by, walk by, bike by Blind Alley Projects anytime during daylight hours. It’s located at 3317 West 4th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
Art&Seek is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.