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Gallery of the Common Experience

Vaquero statue and Lampasas, photo by Billi London-Gray
The gallery is located in Lampasas, the building with the arched windows next to Old Main and the Vaquero statue.

The Gallery of the Common Experience, located in LAMP 407 (the Honors Coffee Forum), has showcased exhibits ranging from a photo documentary on the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the onset of HIV to political cartoons of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. The gallery also hosts special events throughout the year, including free art workshops, artist talks and public art events on the Quad.

The gallery is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Admission is free.

Sponsored by the Honors College and the Common Experience at Texas State University, the gallery is maintained by curator Billi London-Gray and a campus-wide committee of dedicated art lovers. For more information or to become involved with the committee, e-mail cegallery@txstate.edu or call 512.245.2266. 

Portrait of NYC police officer by Rebecca Plascencia
"All Lives Matter" by Rebecca Plascencia

238: Framing the Goals of Democracy

Opening reception 5-7 p.m. Thursday, February 5, 2015

On view through May 8, 2015

The Declaration of Independence, which formally separated the American colonies from Great Britain, provided justification for the formation of a new government and established principles for its rule.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. 

For this exhibition, the student-curators of the Gallery of the Common Experience selected works that address both the met and unmet goals of democracy after 238 years in America. Photographs in the conference room depict steps toward the goal of racial equality in the United States and South Africa.

We've designed this exhibition to raise several questions: What makes democracy work? What responsibilities do democratic citizens owe each other? What goals must our democracy meet to ensure parity of justice for all members of society?

Works on display represent public-domain collections from the Library of Congress, the U.S. National Archives, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rijksmuseum. Original works by Susan Winters Cook, Debangana Banerjee and Darin Wood are also included.

For additional information, email the curator, Billi London-Gray, at billi@txstate.edu.

This exhibition is part of Texas State University’s 2014-15 Common Experience theme, “Exploring Democracy’s Promise: From Segregation to Integration,” and is sponsored by the Common Experience and the Honors College.

Image by artist Beth Consetta Rubel
Paper Bag Test with Adzua-Gette by Beth Consetta Rubel

Black, White and Gray: A Spectrum of Views on Integration

Fall 2014 Exhibition

The Gallery of the Common Experience presents its fall 2014 exhibition with an opening reception on Thursday, September 4, from 5-7 p.m. Works selected for this exhibition address the question, "What does integration look like to you?" Admittance to the gallery is always free and open to the public.

We are pleased to present work by local, national and international artists, including Glenda Adkinson, Debangana Banerjee, Susan Winters Cook, Cynthia I. Gonzales, Daniel Bernard Gray, Matt Herron, Billi London-Gray, Beth Consetta Rubel and Ryan Runcie. The exhibition will be on display through December 10, 2014.

The overall goal of this collection – ranging from black and white photographs of historic civil rights events to new work by artists addressing colorism, racism, racial identity and tolerance – is to create a dialog between the artworks and viewers about integration and the many ways people view it. What is integration? What aspects of difference are parts of integration and are they as important or meaningful as racial difference? Does integration benefit everyone? Is integration progressing? What’s the effect of integration on your life? The gallery's location in the Honors Coffee Forum provides an ideal environment for civil discussions about these important questions.

To view additional information about the exhibition and download articles on segregation and integration, click here.

Event photo

Campus Canvas: A Community Art Project

Ongoing since 2013

The Gallery of the Common Experience and the Honors Learning Community hosted the second Campus Canvas event on Thursday, October 23, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Quad. The resulting campus-wide collaborative diptych is currently on display on the 4th floor of the Lampasas Building, alongside the first Campus Canvas diptych. Hundreds of Texas State students, faculty and staff created these large paintings, expressive of the diversity of ideas and talents within our community. Stop by and check them out for inspiration!

For information, email cegallery@txstate.edu.

Keep making art, Bobcats!

Play Video

Confusing Saturation by Kara Rhodes

Face Forward: Portraits of Emotional Exposure

January 13 - May 10, 2014 // Reception January 30, 5-7 p.m.

The Gallery of the Common Experience presents its spring 2014 exhibition, Face Forward: Portraits of Emotional Exposure, starting January 13, 2014. The exhibition, designed to explore the Common Experience theme of mental health and illness, features emotionally descriptive and evocative portraiture by artists from around the state, including several Texas State students and alumni.

Additionally, the exhibition includes a survey of the work of David Francis Drymala, a San Marcos artist and musician. Drymala is the subject of the upcoming documentary A Deeper Side, which will share his journey through life as a gifted artist affected by mental illness.

Please join us in the gallery on Thursday, January 30, from 5-7 p.m. for a public reception with the artists.

To view the prospectus for the exhibition, click here.

(At right: Confusing Saturation by Kara Rhodes)

Peace Paper Week 2014

A Common Experience with the Art of Paper Making

For two millennia, humankind has created paper by hand. Whatever the intention behind the paper, be it to represent wealth, to carry spirituality, or to convey messages, every fiber that goes into the making of paper has a story to tell. Peace Paper Project, a collaboration between artists Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan, works to empower healing arts communities around the world by introducing collaborative art processes that foster positive forward thinking, enhanced communication, and peaceful reconciliation. Through hand papermaking, writing, book and printmaking activities, they work with local communities to transform significant materials into works of art that broadcast personal stories, mutual understanding and healing.

peace paper week poster

Click here to view photos of past events and exhibits.