Shannon Lindsey, new director of the UCF Art Gallery, views the university venue as a place to experiment – where process, content and form come together to educate and inspire viewers from all backgrounds.
With this goal in mind, she plans to strive for interaction and collaboration between different areas of study at the university and community institutions to partner in programming and events.
“In the past I have partnered with other areas such as biology, environmental studies, and sustainability as supporters for exhibitions and visiting artists,” said Lindsey, who came to UCF in August. “It is crucial to facilitate relationships within and outside the university to be a conduit of discourse and contributor to the enrichment of the community.”
The new director came to UCF from the University of South Carolina, where she taught and was the director of the McMaster Gallery, the university’s professional art gallery. She earned her MFA at USC, and previously received her bachelor of fine arts at the University of South Florida.
It is her focus on interdisciplinarity that she hopes draws the UCF community to create and observe at the gallery.
“Every art student should gain insight and experience a plethora of artistic practices and approaches through the exhibitions in the gallery,” she said. “I am motivated to implement programing and exhibitions that reflect the interest and motivations throughout all areas within the School of Visual Arts & Design.”
In her own artwork, Lindsey said she explores drawing, painting, sculpture and installation with unconventional art materials and processes, and her first class to teach is Art Fundamentals 2-Dimensional Design.
The key to being a good art teacher is to inspire experimentation, critical thinking, problem solving and effective communication skills, which will carry students beyond the classroom, she said. The understanding of art vocabulary and connection to artistic processes will make way for students to become art collectors, commission works, and be active art appreciators in their communities.
“I take the most pride in teaching because our students’ impact will be consequential to the function and appreciation of art in the future of our society,” she said.
The director said she was eager to join UCF and the School of Visual Arts & Design because both are expanding and progressing.
“UCF is truly my ideal work environment as a place of infinite potential with a group of colleagues who work together to foster and promote education and the arts within the university, the school, the classroom and the community,” she said.
The UCF Art Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Visual Arts Building. Check http://gallery.cah.ucf.edu/  for the exhibition schedule.