Gallery of the Common Experience
Breaking Through the Distance
This exhibit highlights challenges associated with the stigma of mental health issues, while simultaneously providing a compassionate catharsis in a time of isolation and liminality. Image by Candice Heaton.
This photo exhibition is on view from May 26, 2021 to September 17, 2021.
What is the Gallery of the Common Experience?
Sponsored by the Honors College and the Common Experience at Texas State University, The Gallery of the Common Experience showcases art exhibits relating to this year's Common Experience theme. In the past, these exhibits have included artwork meant to provoke thought on the definition of Chicano identity, photo depictions of apartheid South Africa during the onset of AIDS, and 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.
When and Where Can I View the Gallery?
The Gallery is located in LAMP 407 (the Honors Coffee Forum) and is open to the public free of charge Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How Can I Get Involved?
Join the Gallery of the Common Experience Club
The gallery is maintained by the Honors College, a Gallery curator, a student curatorial assistant, and a campus-wide club of dedicated art lovers. For more information or to become involved with the club, e-mail the curator Shannon Faseler at email@example.com. You can also follow the Gallery of the Common Experience on Facebook and Instagram.
We also take art submissions from students and others in the community! If interested, submit your work using the "Submit Work" button below and we may contact you regarding featuring your work in an upcoming exhibition. Submitting work does not guarantee it will be part of an exhibition.
See below to view past exhibits.
Spring 2021 Exhibition
February 15, 2021 - May 11, 2021
An exhibition of non-digital photography. Chronicling the history and future of photography, this exhibition dynamically captures the infinite iterations of the human form through alternative photography including numerous photographic techniques, from cyanotypes to analog format film. Featuring work by Fernanda Hernandez, Jacob Hernandez, Chantal Lesley, Riley Taber, and Rachel Tucker.
Watch the Perpetual Impermanence Artist Roundtable:
Fall 2020 Exhibition
September 17, 2020 - January 22, 2021
An exhibition of photographic work presented by the Gallery of the Common Experience featuring pieces by Sharon Mastenbrook, Theresa Newsome, and Rachel Tucker. This exhibition seeks to explore human relationships to each other, our environment, and our spirituality, challenging us to think about our evolving connections to each other. Through powerful images of people and places, we engage with our dynamic understanding of what connection means today.
Spring 2020 Exhibition
February 6, 2020 - May 28, 2020
Members of the Fine Art Student Association of Texas State University question the subjectivity of ethics and truth and explore the origins and intersectionality of our existence. Working from various experiences and perspectives, FASA brings our work together to explore the different ways we communicate our individual truths, and how these serve to create and dissect a collective definition of truth.
Fall 2019 Exhibition
September 26, 2019 - December 19, 2019
The Gallery of the Common Experience is pleased to present new works by Houston-based artist Maddie Mondshine in an exhibition entitled “Intuition.” Included in the exhibition are recently completed works that address the artist’s personal truth as explored through memory, spontaneity, nostalgia, myth, romance, and intuition. This will be the first time these works are shown together.
Summer 2019 Exhibition
June 10, 2019 - August 16, 2019
The work currently on display at the Gallery of Common Experience was created by students during the 2018 Summer Study Abroad in Florence, Italy. Drawings were done on-site throughout the city, allowing students to practice observational techniques in the same location Brunelleschi developed linear perspective. While the drawings are observational and based on truth, they reveal that reality is experienced and expressed in many ways. This exhibit celebrates the artists’ unique ability to share an understanding of the world that is unlike the viewer’s and bring humanity towards an understanding of universal truth.
Spring 2019 Exhibition
April 11, 2019 - May 6, 2019
How can 'People First' become a mantra that creates a notion of innovation that prioritizes the needs of people before consumerism?
Conversations on innovation often highlight the newest, most exciting advances in technology that are ultimately inaccessible to already under-resourced communities. Furthermore, we must imagine the ways in which institutions that are directly detrimental to people have also been some of the first to innovate to consider their economics. Nonetheless, art allows us a space to directly communicate the ways in which we can imagine things differently. This show includes a range of works from analogue installations to physical zines and digital art that engage the space with human centered ideals. People First is a message that considers the fundamental drive to innovate but prioritizes the voices of all people.
Spring 2019 Exhibition
February 28, 2019 - May 6, 2019
This interactive art and design project introduces students of all abilities and backgrounds to cutting-edge creative technologies. The event features Austin-based and Texas State alumnus, Topher Sipes, who connects inner and outer worlds through visual storytelling. On November 14, 2018 students realized their own creative potential by "bending, blending, and breaking" objects of their own imaginative creation by entering virtual space and creating virtual sculptures with VR tools. Completed works were reinvented through 3D printing and are displayed in the Gallery of the Common Experience during the spring 2019 semester.
Spring 2019 Exhibition
January 31, 2019 - March 15, 2019
This show centers the ways in which visual mediums interact with the ever-changing landscape of culture, politics, and life. We seek to expand our understanding of innovation as more than a technological buzzword but rather a challenge to create a newer, better experience beyond our present reality. Approaching themes of the social and physical constructs of race, sexuality, gender and labor, this show will function as a space to recreate and re-interpret the world around us.
Fall 2018 Exhibition
September 13 - December 14, 2018
The Common Experience theme for the Fall 2018- Spring 2019 semesters at Texas State University this year is called Innovation.
Everyone is an innovator! This exhibit is about highlighting your innate innovative creative power! Works will span from painting, drawing, photography, writing, and other 2D and 3D mediums depicting, related to, or inspired by The Power of Thought. Innovation is about opportunity in creativity! Every creation must first start in the mind, a desire to see something new whether in technological, culinary, architectural, or artistic invention- even in the way humans express themselves outwardly through appearance, fashion, hairstyles, etc. Innovation is about creative thinking, whether it be to solve a problem or otherwise imagine something into existence that bends, breaks, or blends what already existed before.
Spring 2018 Exhibition
February 8 - May 9
The Common Experience theme for the Fall 2017- Spring 2018 semesters at Texas State University this year is called The Search For Justice: Our Response to Crime in the 21st Century.
Relevant subjects include racism, conditions of the working class, disparities in power, education, shelter, access to food, mental health services, immigration issues, criminal justice, women’s rights, sexual orientation, subjugating ethnic groups, etc.
The Spring 2018 exhibition is called We the Dreamers. "Dreamers" is a term used to describe undocumented immigrants — many who are young adults — who have been protected under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The defunding of DACA strips the protection of those brought to the U.S. as children. Their pursuit of the American Dream is now accompanied by the fear of being deported to a another country most have never known, uprooted from their American homes. In addition to works making statement about the artists' personal views or experience with this movement, we are also accepting submissions for works about deferred dreams, or goals the artist chooses to portray, that are at risk of unjustly being postponed or denied due to government threat and other justice-related issues.
Fall 2017 Exhibition
August 28 - December 15
The Common Experience theme for the Fall 2017- Spring 2018 semesters at Texas State University this year is called The Search For Justice: Our Response to Crime in the 21st Century.Relevant subjects include racism, conditions of the working class, disparities in power, education, shelter, access to food, mental health services, immigration issues, criminal justice, women’s rights, sexual orientation, subjugating ethnic groups, etc.
I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME WAR!: Women in Conflict, an exhibition examining women's participation from WWI to the present
Fall 2016 Exhibition
August 29 - December 9, 2016
This show takes its inspiration from the 2016-2017 Common Experience theme -
A Century of Conflict: Dialogues on the U.S. Experience of War since 1917.
The theme highlights the universal elements of the war experience and its pervasive influence on the world since American entry into World War I in 1917.
Events associated with the theme bring together campus and community groups in discussions of issues relevant to the world in which our students are currently living and voting.
The theme also helps all students understand the impact of U.S. foreign relations over the course of a century, the connection to global communities, and the ways in which modern wars shape the interactions of research and economics.
Students will better understand the repercussions of decisions about conflict and international relations made around the world.
Artists, Archivists, Veterans, Current Active Military Duty Personnel and Historians alike were asked to contribute to this exhibit to illuminate a greater understanding of the personal, political, psychological, spiritual & physical challenges encountered by women who served their country during wartime, beginning with WWI to the present. Additionally, the examination of the ramifications of their service for their family and friends is an area of worthwhile investigation & insight. Many mediums were utilized by the Artists to convey their perspective of the female combat experience, communicating a greater understanding of this knowledge to the viewer.
February 4, 2016 - August 19, 2016
Thursday, February 11th from 4:00 until 6:00 pm, The Gallery of the Common Experience at the Honors College presents the opening reception for the Spring 2016 exhibition, LEAVES ON THE WIND: The Growth of the Family Tree through the Mexican American Journey. This show presents an engaging collection encompassing a variety of work that reflects upon the notions of lineage and the complexities borne of the migrational journey. This exhibition, with its emphasis on re-enforcing the historical foundation of the proverbial family tree, plants seeds of memory through the use of archival photographs and shared oral histories that serve to document early San Marcians of Mexican lineage. We will show the brief (23 minute) video detailing the early life & myriad accomplishments of Ms. Ofelia Vasquez-Philo, in her own words, at 5:15pm in the conference room, 407A. Light refreshments will be served. Original artwork by internationally known, regional and local artists, including Texas State alumni & current students, will also be on display. These artists, along with several photographers, muralists and poets have also added their voices and visions to this thought-provoking theme. Please join us for what's sure to be an exciting event, ripe for dialogue, debate and discussion!
September 21, 2015 – January 22, 2016This exhibition will share works that present different perspectives on Chicano identity, with the goal of encouraging viewers to reconsider and redefine the term Chicano. As part of Texas State University’s yearlong Common Experience theme, Bridged Through Stories: The Shared Heritage of the United States and Mexico, An Homage to Dr. Tomás Rivera, this exhibition will contribute to our community’s understanding of Chicanos as distinct and important players in the American story.
Friday, April 17, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. in LAMP 501
Caitlin G. McCollom visited the Honors College to speak about her work as an independent artist, critic and curator. She shared insights and tips from her own experiences launching an interdisciplinary career in the arts. The event was attended by students, faculty, staff and members of the public.
About the speaker: McCollom earned a BFA in painting at Texas State in 2010, and ran Red Space Gallery in Austin from 2011-2013. She writes reviews for Glasstire, and exhibits her artwork throughout the state. Pump Project in Austin hosted a solo show of her work through May 9.
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, curator Billi London-Gray and 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.
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.
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.
Ongoing since 2013
The third version of Campus Canvas began Saturday, February 21, 2015, in the LBJ Student Center as part of the 2015 Texas State Leadership Institute Annual Conference. Participants from Texas State and other universities around the state collaborated to create two paintings that related the Common Experience theme to the responsibilities of leading change in the world. The paintings were again displayed at the 2015 Texas Wild Rice Festival on Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Sewell Park, where festival goers added images and messages of empowerment to the compositions.
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!
Keep making art, Bobcats!
January 13 - May 10, 2014 // Reception January 30, 5-7 p.m.
The Gallery of the Common Experience presented 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, featured emotionally descriptive and evocative portraiture by artists from around the state, including several Texas State students and alumni.
Additionally, the exhibition included a survey of the work of David Francis Drymala, a San Marcos artist and musician. Drymala is the subject of the documentary A Deeper Side, which shares his journey through life as a gifted artist affected by mental illness.
(At right: Confusing Saturation by Kara Rhodes)
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.