Art Haven

Art Haven

Rowan's student-run High Street Gallery a downtown home for art.

For budding artists, this may be nirvana.

At Rowan’s High Street Gallery, student artists experience first hand the thrill of showing their work in a professional setting.

The student-run gallery, at 11 E. High Street in downtown Glassboro, is a vast space with a mostly open layout, white walls and wood and tile flooring – an ideal setting for showcasing art.

Built in a former coffeeshop, the gallery is about two blocks from the developing Rowan Boulevard project and could factor greatly into the borough’s arts and entertainment district, which is planned to surround it.

“It’s all about exposure,” said gallery director Claire Cossaboon, a senior art major from Bridgeton. “A lot of our students will go on to show their work in galleries or museums so it’s important to get that type of experience now, before they leave school.”

Cossaboon, 22, whose own medium is photography, said the gallery has featured more than 50 student works since its December 2008 grand opening.

Since that time her own work has been on display here several times, both in class projects and outside of them.

“I had a show last March with two other photographers and it was simply awesome,” she said. “It felt like I wasn’t even a student anymore.”

Cossaboon said because it is a student-run gallery the space offers student artists opportunities to show their work they wouldn’t ordinarily have.

She said the Rowan University Art Gallery on the main floor of Westby Hall  generally features works by inspirational but well-established artists. A secondary, smaller Westby gallery features student works but its often that of seniors.

The wonderful things about the High Street Gallery, Cossaboon said, are its location in the developing downtown and that any student may apply to show work there.

“The way it works here (and in most galleries) is you submit a proposal and a resume as well as a detailed plan for what you’d like to do in the space,” she said.

Cossaboon said new student shows are planned every two or three weeks through the end of the spring semester.

The present exhibit, a collection of large and small photographs under the heading “A serious man 80% more skin,” is an eclectic display of pictures by several Rowan University students.

The gallery is open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 4:30 p.m.

“It’s a lot of fun and something I really hope both the student body and general public take advantage of,” Cossaboon said. “It’s not just an opportunity to see what the Art Department is up to. These can definitely be up and coming, rising artists.”