As part of an effort to create space for civility and discourse at Iowa State, the reACT exhibition series will start with an opening reception to show the first exhibition. The reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the Reiman Gallery in Morrill Hall.
The reception is free of charge and open to all, including students, faculty, staff and the Ames community. Refreshments will be served.
Within the gallery space, there is a whiteboard where attendees can write responses while going through the exhibition.
The reception will be the opening of the first exhibition in the reACT series which is titled “It Starts with Us: Civility and the 21st Century Land Grant Mission” and was proposed by José Antonio Rosa, professor of marketing.
“After the Campus Climate Survey was conducted in 2017 one of the things that came out of it was that there is a lack of civility on campus and that really struck a chord,” Rosa said. “A proposal was given to the president of the faculty senate about doing a reACT exhibition around civility and he came to me and asked if I would be willing to spearhead this.”
Rosa said his proposal included wanting to do something around the nature of civility, the meaning of civility, the historical perspective of civility and what the meaning is to the visitor.
“The experience we want the visitor to have is one of enlightenment, a little bit of fun but also have fun with thinking,” Rosa said. “We used the collection to weave something that is non-linear but allows someone who just has 10 minutes to come in see something that gets them thinking.”
The reACT exhibition series was thought up as a collaboration from University Museums, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of the Senior Vice President for University Services.
“The main concept is to provide students and the ISU community with a space to have a safe dialogue about current events and issues and using visual material and artwork from the permanent collection in order to talk about different perspectives on a subject,” said Lilah Anderson, educator of visual literacy and learning for University Museums.
Anderson said that there is an open period where any faculty and staff from Iowa State can apply with a proposal of a topic that they would like to explore for an exhibition. She said there are usually three to five exhibitions per year and they run for about a month, this year there are currently three, but others may be added.
If there is a large event either on campus or in the national news, a pop up reACT exhibition may happen in order to provide a space for dialogue.
“There are a couple important purposes of reACT,” Anderson said. “One is sharing our permanent collection with students and the community and being able to have that experience in a gallery space. The second part of it is the idea of exploring these different topics and providing a space where we can have a conversation and communicate in a respectful way, in a safe way.”