The renovation of Harris Gallery is progressing nicely. It started in July and is entering the final phases of the process. The gallery – housed in the Frank E. Gannett building – has been an integral part of the curriculum and community since 1969 when the new campus opened. SPAS started offering photography classes in 1902 but did not offer BFA degrees until the mid 1960s.

The gallery and related activities are enormously important to the School. Typically the gallery hosts more than ten exhibitions per year and is a cornerstone of the Rochester Photographic Community as well. Exhibitions include MFA thesis shows as well as other shows from both well-known and up-and-coming photographers. We are all eagerly anticipating the Spring semester and the opening of the first exhibition in the newly renovated space. Some of the main features of the renovation have been: a ceiling grid, new benches, refinishing of the all the walls and flats, a new spot lighting system, the demolition of the Gallery Office and moving it to an adjacent room, as well as the creation of a dedicated work room for MFA students. When completed in late winter, it will again be ready to be a showcase for photography for the RIT community. We could not be more excited!

 

The 1902 Mechanics Institute brochure advertising photography classes

The 1902 Mechanics Institute brochure advertising photography classes

The 1967 campus construction. The Gannett building is the L shaped building in the center rear.

The 1967 campus construction. The Gannett building is the L shaped building in the center rear.

A critique from 1971 in the Gallery space

A critique from 1971 in the Gallery space

A student enjoys a quiet moment in the Gallery at an MFA show

A student enjoys a quiet moment in the Gallery at an MFA show

The entrance to the annual Student Honor Show

The entrance to the annual Student Honor Show

Julia O’Neil and her Mom and Professor Emeritus Elaine O’Neil celebrate the opening book launch of the Show, Mother Daughter Posing as Ourselves exhibition

Julia O’Neil and her Mom and Professor Emeritus Elaine O’Neil celebrate the opening book launch of the Show, Mother Daughter Posing as Ourselves exhibition

The typical energy surrounding an opening from fall 2008

The typical energy surrounding an opening from Fall 2008

Indication that something important is happening behind the closed doors

Indication that something important is happening behind the closed doors

 The ceiling grid is up and the floors have been prepared for a new resin epoxy finish

The ceiling grid is up and the floors have been prepared for a new resin epoxy finish

Another view of the ceiling grid expansive space

Another view of the ceiling grid expansive space

The Harris Annex room is phase 2 and will be the focus of the work in the upcoming weeks.

The Harris Annex room is Phase 2 and will be the focus of the work in the upcoming weeks.