Change can be good, but after 30 years, the Wexner Center for the Arts has found its niche and is sticking to it.
The Wexner Center will celebrate its 30-year anniversary Friday, inviting donors, Corporate Council members and partnering local artists to a closed event meant to celebrate its support and success over the past 30 years, Melissa Starker, creative content and public relations manager, said.
Starker said the Wexner Center has worked with amazing artists over the past 30 years, and she believes the consistencies, such as having Sherri Geldin as director of the Wexner Center for 25 years, keep the organization running.
“This place was started as a venue not just to present contemporary art, but to support its creation,” Starker said.
Starker said public support and donors such as those attending the event help make this mission possible, helping fund the free admission and discounted event tickets students receive for the center.
Makayla Davis, a third-year in landscape architecture and an intern at the Wexner Center, said her internship has reignited her passion for dance.
Davis said she was motivated to push herself to combine creativity with the architectural work she is pursuing after attending a performance by choreographer nora chipaumire. The performance, which took place at the Wexner Center Oct. 22 and 23, featured segments of chipuamire’s multigenre music and dance experience.
“Every time that I go to a conference or program, I somehow become inspired in a new way,” Davis said.
The stage in Mershon Auditorium will be turned into a dance floor for the event, with a live performance by 12-piece band Universal Crush. Starker said she expects the dance floor to have high energy.
“You don’t get a full view of what’s happening there until you really step up onto the stage and look,” Starker said.
Starker said attendees are welcome to walk through the galleries and take in the space at their own pace. The Wexner Center currently hosts its fall exhibition, “HERE: Ann Hamilton, Jenny Holzer, Maya Lin,” which features meditations on Ohio from three women with deep connections to the state.
Starker said she believes the relationship that has been formed over the years between the Wexner Center and the university plays a role in the success of the Wexner Center.
“We’re sort of woven into the life of Ohio State, and that is really wonderful and sustaining,” Starker said. She added that the Wexner Center has collaborated with many departments at Ohio State, including the dance, architecture and engineering departments.
Davis said she is seeing more college students get involved with the Wexner Center while the quality of the works shown continues to improve.