As the spring term begins, thousands of Columbia students have returned to campus. Despite facing economic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, many local galleries and art-related businesses continue to offer a diverse array of artistic experiences for Columbia students, ranging from exhibitions confronting the pressing issues of race and gender inequalities to craft and pottery workshops that provide an opportunity to step away from the screen and into the studio.
Located at the Lenfest Center for the Arts, the Wallach Art Gallery is available by reservation to Columbia affiliates that have completed the necessary protocols to access University buildings between Jan. 27 and Feb. 28. The gallery is currently displaying Uptown Triennial 2020, an exhibition that confronts past and present social injustices in dialogue with elements of the Harlem Renaissance. By directly drawing inspiration from six important historical objects from the Harlem Renaissance, 25 contemporary artists of color inherit the spirit of speaking up and recontextualize issues of race in a time of significant social division.
Situated in the lobby of Barnard’s Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning, the exhibit “STUFF” presents a large-scale multimedia installation by artist Dianne Smith. The exhibit celebrates the legacy of Barnard alumna and renowned playwright Ntozake Shange, BC ’70. On view until Aug. 16, “STUFF” invites the audience to confront race- and gender-related hardships faced by women of color. To create a space for healing and empowerment, Smith highlights women of color narrating stories about how they face and triumph through adversities caused by their identities.
This Upper West Side pottery studio, located on Broadway between 105th and 106th streets, offers in-person and virtual classes, as well as open studio hours and private lessons by online reservation. With course offerings for children and adults alike, visitors of all experience levels can learn techniques for hand-building and experience the fun of throwing on the wheels.
Located on Amsterdam Avenue and the corner of 94th Street, Little Shop of Crafts is a women- and POC-run craft studio. Implementing strict health protocols, including plexiglass dividers on every single table, multiple hand sanitizer dispensers, and outdoor seating on weekends, the shop welcomes walk-in guests to work on a wide range of projects including plaster, pottery, mosaic crafts, and stuffed animals.
On Amsterdam Avenue between 108th and 109th streets, Mugi Pottery offers open studio hours and sessions for visitors at all levels with individual work stations and temperature checks upon arrival to ensure a safe visit. On weekends, Mugi Pottery provides unique experiences like Wheel Intro Classes and Couples Nights, available by online reservation.