DEPS' Unique Approach to Art Spaces

Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Exhibitions, Performances & Student Spaces is featured on "Culture Spots" national video series for its multi-faceted approach to art spaces.

Culture Spots, a company that produces mobile audio tours for museums and galleries, featured the Department of Exhibitions, Performances & Student Spaces (DEPS) in their final 2015 Spotlight Tour video. Columbia College Chicago drew Culture Spots in with the sprawling Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC), students’ hands-on involvement and DEPS’ ability to differentiate themselves in a city overflowing with great galleries.

The eight minute video highlights Glass Curtain Gallery, ShopColumbia and the Wabash Arts Corridor to show how DEPS provides support for Columbia’s student and alumni artists, enriches the campus experience, and makes an impact on Chicago arts and culture.

Neysa Page-Lieberman, director of C-Spaces, explained the surge of popularity of the Wabash Arts Corridor, when Shepard Fairey and three of his internationally known colleagues added the first four murals in July 2014. “[Now] we’re on the international street art map and artists from all over the place are contacting us and offering to do this for free,” she says. To support Columbia’s own, DEPS also holds an annual competition for alumni artists to have their work featured in the Wabash Arts Corridor. Last year’s winning alumni mural, Slime Mountain by Heidi Unkefer (BFA ’13), was featured in a photo gallery on the Culture Spots website.

The video also discusses how ShopColumbia was founded to help students and alumni navigate the process of marketing and selling their work.

Page-Lieberman encourages faculty members to reach out and involve their classes in producing shows with the DEPS galleries. In many ways, DEPS represents Columbia’s collaborative spirit in action. The galleries offer students myriad opportunities to stimulate artistic expression, work together and gain essential experience through hands-on work. 

“We’ve done projects where we’ve paired two different classes together and they work all semester on building an exhibition and those have been really, really exciting and valuable,” she says. “It’s a rare opportunity to work in this great, interdisciplinary fashion.” Past pairings include film and interior architecture, science and set design, and dance and illustration.

To learn more about the ways DEPS provides opportunities for students and connects Columbia to the larger Chicago community, watch the Culture Spots video below or here.