New gallery space connects KU students to East Lawrence arts district

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University of Kansas art students have a new gallery in the East Lawrence arts district that positions them to bridge a gap with the broader arts community.

KU has signed a lease for the building at 924 Delaware St., now called the Off-Site Art Space. Jungle House previously occupied the space but moved in late May 2023 to a downtown Lawrence location, 6 E. Seventh St.

The KU Department of Visual Arts moved in and began renovating in September, according to Department Chair Marshall Maude, who said the DIY space has fulfilled the department’s longtime wish to be closer to Lawrence’s arts scene.

More than cultivating a new platform for art students’ work, Gallery Manager Allie Fischer is teaching about arts management through her Gallery Practice course. KU added the course with the Off-Site Art Space in mind, and Fischer was hired in October.

Maya Hodison/Lawrence Times Black paint on the foam insulated walls and new lights have been added to the second room at the Off-Site Art Space.

“We’re trying to kind of demystify what happens in galleries for them so that when they are approached, or if they approach a gallery, they know how to advocate for themselves and their art,” Fischer said.

This semester, 10 undergraduate students are taking her Gallery Practice course, in which they learn the administrative, operational side of being an artist — a skill set that Fischer said is advantageous for emerging working artists but not often introduced to them early on.

Maya Hodison/Lawrence Times Allie Fischer

Students walk through art exhibition logistics like forming connections, scheduling, signing contracts, installation, safe handling protocols, using graphic design to make flyers, social media promotion and more. Interacting with the public has been a point of focus, too, so that they become comfortable speaking with people about their work.

Hands-on practice is a must, and students shift across art mediums. KU’s Common Shop, in the Visual Arts department, guided Fischer’s students through building their own pedestal stands to display their artwork. Graduating seniors in the course are currently showing their final installations, which they’ve personally curated this semester.

By exposing students to different types of galleries, Fischer hopes they can identify what aligns with them. This Friday, they’re planning to visit some spaces in Kansas City.

“Sometimes you have to think, ‘Where does my art belong?’” Fischer said. “Does it belong in a DIY, more grunge kind of space? Or does it belong in a really white wall gallery? And some of those decisions early on can affect where you show your work later, so I’m trying to make them feel empowered about what they’re doing.”

Maya Hodison/Lawrence Times KU senior Riddhi Duvvur’s pieces, “Born a Weed” and “Parasitic Nester,” will be featured at an art show opening reception Friday, April 19 at the Off-Site Art Space.

Galleries on KU’s campus are often geared toward graduate students, especially during the final months of school when they’re presenting their theses, Fischer said. The Off-Site Art Space now fills a need undergraduate students had, while being available to all arts students, as well.

“We wanted to give them the space to exhibit their work fully, and to understand what it felt like to see your body of work installed in its completion,” Fischer said.


Also utilizing the space are student groups within the Visual Arts department, including KU Print Club and KU Painting Club. So far, 20 to 30 students from both clubs have exhibited work there this year, according to Fischer. Lawrence Paint Haus, a coalition of painters who are KU alumni, hosted a show there in February.

Looking to future opportunities for exposure and resume-building, Fischer said she’s excited to help students cohost exhibitions with community artists or art collectives.

Upcoming senior art exhibitions

Opening receptions for two senior art exhibitions are scheduled for the two coming Fridays. Attendance is free.

“Inhabited,” featuring Riddhi Duvvur, Katie Grear and Allie Horner, is currently up and will remain open for viewing through Saturday, April 20. The show’s opening reception is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 19. Light refreshments will be provided.

Maya Hodison/Lawrence Times KU senior Allie Horner’s watercolor art will be featured at an art show opening reception Friday, April 19 at the Off-Site Art Space. From left to right, the pieces depict the five stages of grief.

“The Funky Bunch,” by Corey Williams, and “Finder’s Farrago,” by Dejah Wake, will be open for viewing Thursday through Saturday, April 25 to 27. The show’s opening reception is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 26.

During opening receptions for both shows, featured artists will participate in a Q&A beginning at 6:30 p.m.

More shows will soon be announced, as Fischer is looking forward to keeping the space alive through the summer months.

The Off-Site Art Space is located at 924 Delaware St. Regular hours of operation are 1 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Stay updated with the Off-Site Art Space on its Instagram page, @offsiteartspace, and Facebook page, Off-Site Art Space.

Maya Hodison/Lawrence Times Although the front door at 924 Delaware St. still reads “Jungle House,” the building now serves as the University of Kansas’ Off-Site Art Space, as depicted in the window to the right.
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Note: This post has been corrected from a previous version.

Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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