Cristian Reyes | The Poly Post

The Don B. Huntley Gallery gives students a peak into the old west

By Cristian Reyes, Oct. 25, 2022

The Don B. Huntley Gallery revealed a new exhibit on Monday Oct. 17, “The Life and Terrain of the Wild West,” which displays a collection of old western artwork from Huntley’s collection.

The Huntley Gallery is located on the fourth floor of the library and is open to students to showcase a variety of different artwork and exhibits.

Don B. Huntley (’60, animal husbandry) received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in 2009. Huntley is close to and works mainly with the department of agriculture. The Huntley Gallery is a part of the College of Environmental Design and frequently hosts artwork Huntley has collected over the years. Huntley has donated over 100 pieces of art for around 15 years.

“Mr. Huntley considers this university his family and he considers his art his family,” said Senior Director of Development for College of Engineering Carrie Geurts. “That’s the perfect marriage of his interest and his commitment to the university.”

Cristian Reyes | The Poly Post

Geurts was the former Development Officer for the College of Environmental Design which oversees the Huntley Gallery. It was there she first met Huntley as he was interested in donating an art piece to the university. She has known Huntley for over 20 years and still has a friendly relationship with him.

“The Life and Terrain of the Wild West” exhibit is about the wildlife and landscapes of the vast western region. Art pieces in the exhibit are made by well-known artists such as Bonnie Marris, Greg Beecham and more. The exhibit has on display oil paintings of animals in their natural habitat, such as wolves and moose. Some paintings also illustrate remarkable landscapes along with text to describe the history of the paintings.

The Huntley Gallery is quite spacious with plenty of room for students to roam around and admire the grand art pieces. Although the Huntley Gallery is full of paintings, in the center there is an art figure of a duck and ducklings which adds variety to the room.

“In addition to gaining that appreciation for nature you get an appreciation for art itself,” said Gallery Assistant Piper Bridgman. “Some of them (art pieces) don’t even look like it was a painting, it looks like a photograph.”

Bridgman is a fourth-year art history major who hopes to work in a museum in the future, and this job has helped her gain experience such as installing the work, learning the art, contacting the artist and more.

Bridgman helps with the collections management of the gallery and helped create the text panels for each art piece. To create these texts, she and gallery assistant Hannah Gray did a lot of research as they contacted the artist and checked out their website to gain more information on not just the art piece but the artist as well.

CPP Students are encouraged to visit the gallery to appreciate not only the art but the nature that the paintings depict. Student engagement with the gallery has been busy according to Gray.

“We do get a lot of students especially on busy weekdays between 12 to four when we’re open,” said Gray. “A lot of people ask us a lot of questions about who did the art, where it came from … I feel like a lot of people are quite interested in what we have to offer at the gallery.”

The exhibit is open until February 2023 giving enough time for students to stop by to learn and admire the work about the old west.

Feature image by Cristian Reyes

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