June 17, 2019 | 78° F

Zimmerli Art Museum honors Rutgers anniversary with HereNow 250 exhibition

Rutgers is celebrating its 250th anniversary and its rich history in many ways, but it is also important to celebrate the University in its present time, “here and now.”

“HereNow: Rutgers 250," is an exhibition at the Zimmerli Art Museum launched in November 2015, that captures life at Rutgers during the academic year of its 250th anniversary, according to the Zimmerli Museum's website.

The project also includes a website and a book that focuses on education and campus life in the early 21st century.

Students, faculty and the public can submit photographs to contribute to the project. Although the project was launched last year, these pictures were only displayed beginning this month.

Certain photographs will be chosen for publication in a fine arts book with essays by Rutgers authors and critics, according to their website.

“The focus of the book and the exhibition is to create a multi-dimensional portrait of Rutgers by the people of Rutgers in images,” said Donna Gustafson, curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs at the Museum.

Photographs are printed and placed on the gallery walls two to three times per week until the gallery is completely full, she said.

The website has more than 460 images, with 100 hung up on Jan. 26., Including students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the Rutgers community, roughly 335 people have contributed to the gallery so far, she said.

Since the gallery's opening, they have been experiencing a steady stream of visitors and photographs. Gustafson is pleased with the diverse collection of images.

“It has been super exciting to see the submissions tally getting larger and larger every day,” said Angela Bouton, a student coordinator at the Zimmerli Museum. 

When they began the project, no one knew how it would be received, but the continuous turnout is great, said Bouton, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.

More people are becoming aware of the exhibition as it grows, Bouton said. The museum contacted various clubs and organizations around campus asking for submissions as well.

Her favorite part of the exhibit is seeing all the diversity on campus.

“We have photos from clubs I never knew existed, and photos of what people do around campus. It really is just a fascinating show to see what life at Rutgers looks like today,” Bouton said.

The diversity can be seen through the broad range of photographs they have received, Gustafson said. They include landscapes and animals, student and organization profiles as well as scenes depicting University life.

But they are still accepting photographs until May, and encourage both students and faculty to send their photographs, she said.

“This is a chance to be part of the portrait of Rutgers in its anniversary year,” she said. “There are so many ways to see Rutgers, and I think we are beginning to create a very interesting portrait of the University at this point in time.”

Shahar Platt, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said the gallery is helps celebrate Rutgers' 250th anniversary.

“The gallery captures the day-to-day lives of faculty and students, and the amazing work that they do here. It allows the public to share an authentic and meaningful experience with the University,” she said. 

Noa Halff

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