The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Storage space turns to art gallery on NW Campus

By Edna Horton/nw news editor

Clockwise from top left, Honeycomb by Denise Anger, Magic Bullet by Linsey Morgan, Little Me by Chambly Hill.  Photo by Casey Horton/The Collegian
Clockwise from top left, Honeycomb by Denise Anger, Magic Bullet by Linsey Morgan, Little Me by Chambly Hill. Photo by Casey Horton/The Collegian

A new NW Campus gallery connects the arts and police cadets.

The Skylight Gallery had its opening ceremony Oct. 24. Located in the Criminal Justice Center entryway, the gallery will display mainly ceramics and one painting. Chris Cunningham, NW art instructor and gallery curator, said the displays would contain mainly student artwork and rotate out each semester.

“Hopefully, maybe sometime in the future, we will be able to have some artwork that has a higher value to it,” he said. “Who knows, we may even put some artifacts from law enforcement out here.”

The idea for the Skylight Gallery began when Malcolm Jackson, Criminal Justice Training Center coordinator, attended an art show in NW’s Lakeview Gallery. He said he saw some of the mosaic wall art displayed in the show and thought it would fit perfectly in the entryway. He talked to Mike Matthews, humanities divisional dean, and the idea became a reality.

The entryway has a glass ceiling that allows sunlight into the building.

Jackson thought it would be a good place to display artwork because of the natural light. Previously, the hallway served as a storage space for tables, chairs and file boxes.

“We had this hallway with that beautiful skylight,” he said. “As you stood in the doorway and looked at it, it looked so barren. I kept looking at that and said, ‘You know, here is an opportunity for people who are in the lunchroom to look out and see something besides a barren wall.’”

Jackson wanted to broaden the horizons of the law enforcement personnel who came through the facility and to provide a way to decompress from the intensity of their jobs and training. He thought bringing art students over from the other side of the campus would open them up to explore other career opportunities they may not have considered before. 

From left, Candy and Soda by Maria Perotin, Ancient Longing by Chambly Hill.  Photo by Casey Horton/The Collegian
From left, Candy and Soda by Maria Perotin, Ancient Longing by Chambly Hill. Photo by Casey Horton/The Collegian

Jackson said art plays an important role in law enforcement. The reconstruction of a face with clay, drawings of crime scenes for court and computer animation all rely on art.

“[We want] to get the students on this campus interested in realizing, ‘Hey, there is something besides just doing this for art or therapy or fun. There is a real need for this talent.’ How do we put that into the law enforcement arena?”

Jackson wants to bring the campus together to work as a cohesive, collaborative unit. He said he hopes the gallery will open more opportunities for programs at TCC, such as classes that specifically teach art that can be used in law enforcement, such as drawing of crime scenes.

“I think that says, ‘Why don’t we?’” he said. “Who does teach people how to do the sketch artist stuff? I don’t know the answer to that, so maybe there’s an opportunity for another training program.”

Cunningham said because of all the natural light, only certain media can be displayed in Skylight Gallery.

“We do have a sculpture facility that we just started getting really going,” he said. “We’re doing some bronze casting, and we’re doing all kinds of sculptural projects. I’m hoping they pull some of that student work over here.”

Gallery hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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