Students from Eastern Michigan University’s graduate historic preservation program cut the ribbon and unveiled a new exhibit that highlights the involvement of EMU student organizations over the past 166 years on Thursday, April 14 in McKenny Hall.
The McKenny Art Gallery opened in 2014 and showcases a collection of historical photos, artifacts and student artwork engulfing the rich tradition of the institution.
The exhibit was designed up eleven graduate students currently enrolled in the university’s museum experience development class. The theme for this year’s exhibit was the Power of Connection.
“I find that the best museum exhibits have an important message attached to them. They don’t just put out stuff,” Nancy Villa Bryk said, professor of EMU’s Graduate Program of Historic Preservation since 2011.
Student activity groups from all areas of campus displayed a wide variety of artwork, with the intention of empowering students and promoting the effervescence and vivacity of the program as a whole. The Black Student Union, the Trap and Skeet Club, and the International Student Association contributed works. EMU University Archives and alumni donors also provided the artifacts for the exhibit.
“These kids would come in on a Saturday on their free time and go through the class archives for inspiration,” said Bryk.
The Historic Preservation Program is the largest graduate program in its category in the United States. The program also offers a 12-hour graduate certificate in historic preservation and an undergraduate minor in historic preservation.
“To me, the program offers an array of real world experience,” said Johnathan Bennet, graduate student and co-label editor of the program. “That’s what it meant to me.”