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Dedication ceremony held for the Louis O. Palmer Gallery

By Christine Holmes
On October 17, 2013

On Friday, Oct. 11 students, faculty and distinguished alumni gathered on the lawn outside of Walter Hall for the dedication and opening of the Louis O. Palmer Gallery. The dedication was part of Homecoming and Board of Trustees weekend.

“The Louis O. Palmer Gallery is a spacious, state-of-the-art and beautiful showcase to display the works by our students, our faculty and our alumni,” said Muskingum University President Anne Steele.

It is Muskingum University’s first dedicated art gallery.

Louis O. Palmer was a professor of art at Muskingum University from 1956-1981.

“Louie was passionate about the arts in particular and life in general,” said Muskingum class of 1975 graduate and former student of Palmer, Frank Festi Jr. “He had the uncanny ability to engrain in his students an appreciation of the arts and an awareness of the finer things in life, oftentimes in an unconventional fashion.”

Those present at the dedication remember their days in the company of Palmer fondly.

“I was here in the days that Louie Palmer was our professor, and we had a marvelous experience at that time in very limited quarters,” said Chair of the Board of Trustees Hal Burlingame. “Now you’re able to put on display the works of the students, the work of various artists from around the area, and everybody can get a much better appreciation of the world of art and the beauty that is around them.”

The gallery is located between the university’s two buildings dedicated to art, Paul Hall and the Ruth and John Neptune Center, just behind Walter Hall.

“This new art gallery [will] give us more [opportunities] to attract more [artists] around this community,” said Professor of Art Yan Sun.

In the future, Sun hopes to see the art gallery host works of not only students, but also artists across the state.

The Louis O. Palmer Gallery will serve as more than just an art gallery.

“It has also been designed to serve as a 21st century classroom,” said Steele. “Here students will expand their knowledge in art.”

In addition, the gallery enables students to have an experience that will guide them through their lives as professional artists.

“I think it will be wonderful and it gives students a place to go and be a part of a gallery experience which they’ll want to do many other times in their lives,” said Burlingame.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were invited inside the gallery to observe the artwork of current and past students.

“The gallery’s inaugural exhibit encompasses eight decades of the long magenta line,” said Steele. “The class of 1947 is represented, and so is the class of 2013.”

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