The Olin Hall Galleries of Roanoke College consist of a large permanent collection and two active gallery spaces, creating the opportunity of showcasing both touring exhibitions as well as a rotation of the collection itself. While both Olin Gallery and Smoyer Gallery exist in neighboring spaces within Olin Hall, each gallery has a purpose and personality of its own. Olin Gallery has been approved by both the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and the Smithsonian Institute to play host to traveling and high security exhibits, meeting the criteria for heating, lighting, as well as sound and door detection, placing Olin Gallery a step above the average campus gallery.Not to be outdone, the Smoyer space offers more room for the display of other traveling exhibitions as well as a place for the continual rotation of the permanent collection. Both galleries offer students a chance to curate and display works, as well as creating an airy atmosphere that allows for a light and unruffled flowing experience for visitors. Spacious and whitewashed, the galleries utilize both artificial and natural lighting to highlight the art displayed on their walls. As for the collection itself, it consists of a diverse range of artwork, from contemporary public space statues to historic pieces reflecting the life of Mary, Queen of Scots; many of the pieces represent the work of world-renowned artists or of priceless Boheme Porcelain. All of the collection was either gifted by collectors or by the artists themselves, resulting in a body of works that offer personality and variety, altogether creating a very solid and large permanent collection for the Roanoke campus.
While the website does not offer specific information about educational programming, the Olin Hall Galleries are an integrated part of the Fine Arts Department, displaying student art work as well as giving Art History majors the opportunity to set up exhibits and displays within the gallery space. The website also encourages artists of diverse mediums to send in samples of work for use in solo/group exhibitions actively sought by the galleries. All in all, the galleries at Olin Hall offer exposure to the newest innovations in art, as well as classic staples that make up modern art as we know it. Open to students, staff, and the community at large, Roanoke College brings art to the public in the surrounding area.
Taylor Horak, Gabriella Giamichael, & Maggie Grymes