Working Up an Appetite for Art

Thursday, October 18, 2012
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student viewing artwork in philbrook dining hall

Petrella Art Gallery, Philbrook dining hall. (Perry Smith/UNH Photographic Services)

Adam Hill, a senior humanities major, has been collaborating with UNH staff and students to promote student art within the UNH community.

Although Hill does not consider himself an artist, he understands the importance of art in the community. “I wanted to take advantage of the talent we have here at UNH,” Hill says. “I’m not just talking about art students. It’s important for this to be open to students from all academic backgrounds.”

This has not been a quick process. Hill first approached UNH Dining Services during the 2011 spring semester to see if he could establish galleries in the dining halls. The following fall, they started working on the first exhibit.

According to Hill, “The dining halls are an ideal location to display student artwork because they are trafficked by thousands of individuals daily while at the same time maintaining excellent security.”

The idea was met with enthusiasm by UNH Dining Services’ Brandon Crosby, Philbrook Area Manager. "In Dining Services, we aim to provide a good dining experience for the UNH community,” he says. “Our dining guests in Philbrook dining hall really seem to like the artwork. For us, it's great to support the work of our talented students and enhance our atmosphere."

One of those students is Lauren Karjala, who says "it feels amazing" to not only have a place to show her own work, but to feel the "sense of community" that comes from showing with fellow artists. Herself an artist who was so impressed by Hill’s efforts, Karjala signed on to be a co-curator with fellow student, Matthew Gerding.

As co-curators, Karjala and Gerding encourage students to submit their work, collect submissions and make sure that the installations run smoothly. They are also coordinating the overall design and aesthetic of the new mural installation in Holloway Commons.

More Exhibit Space Planned

Starting this month, there will be even more opportunities for student artwork to be seen on campus. In addition to an existing gallery space in Philbrook Dining Hall, two other busy locations in Holloway Commons will showcase work: a gallery on the third floor balcony and a collaborative mural near the entrance by Dunkin’ Donuts.

On October 18, at 7 p.m., an Art Crawl will mark the opening of the galleries with new works in both locations.

And, work will soon begin on the collaborative mural in Holloway. The design selection and approval is underway. A time-lapse video of the installation will also be filmed.

The galleries are designed to be dynamic and rotate student work. Any interested UNH student is encouraged to submit artwork for consideration.

Editor’s note: To submit artwork for consideration, send an email to with your name, an image of the artwork, artwork title, year created, medium and dimensions.

Written by Jennifer Pribble