Foster-Tanner starts art outreach program

“Walls Turned Sideways are Bridges: Narratives of Necessity” Exhibition Photo courtesy Marquel Bowen

Florida A&M’s Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery will host the inaugural Fostering the Arts! program titled “Different Strokes for Different Folks” on Saturday.

Fostering the Arts! has been established to serve as an art-based public program catering to the youth of Tallahassee to stimulate their interest in the arts. The program is scheduled to take place the second Saturday of every month.

The fine arts public programs operate in a two-fold manner which allows all content displayed to be relevant to one another and reinforce the thematic scheme being displayed in the gallery. The gallery typically contains works of art created by students, faculty and local artists.

Assistant professor and gallery director Aja Roache has allowed her student Callia Blake to take the lead and conduct Saturday’s program with the children. Blake will be responsible for creating an art supplies list for the students and incorporating some of the artwork in the gallery into her lesson plan.

“I really wanted to give students a chance to take the lead and attain professional skills. I trust her and she’s really good at what she does,” said Roache.

Blake is a fine arts major who is also a museum education intern.

The Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery is also hosting the exhibition “Walls Turned Sideways are Bridges: Narratives of Necessity.” This exhibition will be on view for the remainder of the semester and will be the artwork that influences the first session of Fostering the Arts!.

“I feel like FAMU cherishes art fairly well on campus. The sculpture outside of the library is a true testament of the university’s initiative to keep artwork visible and relevant on our campus,” said sophomore graphic design major Teirra Tysinger.

In 1977 the gallery was renovated into a two-level gallery. The gallery has hosted international and national exhibitions to include works by Faith Ringgold, Thembinkosi Goniwe, Elizabeth Catlett, Jun Zhao, Sonya Clark and pieces from the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey collection.

The gallery program conducts seven art exhibitions every calendar year with free public programs such as gallery talks, panels, demonstrations and films.

“I don’t think many students understand the rich culture the Foster-Tanner buildings contain. When you look into how much musical and artistic content has been produced from these buildings you start to understand why our work is so sought after,” said Kia Burrell, a senior psychology major.