A bigger Frame

The students behind The Frame are looking to broaden the gallery’s horizons. Co-directors Michael McParlane and Amy Johnson would like to diversify both the art and the artists; they want to include the work of students outside of the School of Art (and outside of Carnegie Mellon), in addition to incorporating events like contests, concerts, and theater performances. “We really want it to be a place to be interdisciplinary,” said Johnson, a School of Art alum.

And The Frame gallery is well on its way. Several of the exhibits this semester were from students outside of the School of Art or involved mixed media, according to McParlane, a senior BHA student. “I feel like anyone who hasn’t used the space to put up paintings or put up sculpture has done [mixed media],” he said. Additionally, The Frame has hosted performances by local bands, in addition to one appearance by the Pittsburgh Ballet.

To raise money and attract interest, McParlane and Johnson plan to hold contests and other fundraising events next semester. Though they receive some funding from Carnegie Mellon, the co-directors are on their own when it comes to organizing events. “It’s all student-run,” McParlane said. “We don’t get any help from the school.” They’ve already had a rummage sale, but the two are most excited about a team art contest to be held in January. The teams will have to pay a registration fee, and then create an impromptu work of art in a short amount of time. Johnson said that he and McParlane are also open to student suggestions for fundraising.

“We’re trying to raise money to make the basement a workable space,” Johnson said. Working with the basement, along with other aspects of the gallery, McParlane and Johnson are hoping to make The Frame into not just a gallery, but a performance and lounge space as well.

Overall, the co-directors’ proposed changes aim to benefit both the artists themselves and visitors to the gallery. In addition to showing art, The Frame aims to help artists learn how to show their art. “We want to have really great shows, but we also want to prepare people for the art world,” Johnson said.