Hidden Treasures in Wilson Hall

Katerina Mihailidis, Staff Reporter

Walking into the Oakland University Art Gallery, one will see unique and eclectic exhibitions that make up what may be Oakland University’s best kept secret. The art pieces are curated and thoughtfully chosen by Dick Goody, director of the gallery. Goody is a professor of art at Oakland, as well as the chair of the Department of Art and Art History.

The pieces are set up in a harmonic, insightful and purposeful way so that visitors can experience the very essence of the art and the exhibition.

Visitors who come to the gallery may also see Goody himself — talking to or guiding interested students, staff and faculty through the exhibitions, pondering over the art like a father, proud of the successful setup of each art installation.

What visitors will not see are the 1,500 pieces of art stored behind the gallery.

If one were to walk through a little door on the side of the gallery and continue to walk through the narrow hallway,  they would find ethnographic African artifacts and tribal treasures. Their worth increases as each year passes.

“Art is a reflection of its time,” Goody said, regarding the age and value of some of these pieces, which come from a plethora of civilizations and cultures around the world.

There are prints from the 19th and 20th century on the walls, in boxes and on shelves. A significant collection of Chinese scrolls dating back to 1950 are stored in fireproof cabinets.

One who ventures into these collections would come across pre-Columbian art, Roman antiquity and pieces from the era of the renaissance movement as well.

The art is hidden away until the day that the idea of an OU museum is realized.

Goody said he sees this realization as inevitable. All that is needed is a donor and the funding for a properly conditioned space for the art pieces.

The art would need to rotate, Goody said, and be displayed so that the public’s interest and attention can always be drawn.

What is being done for the display of the art at the present moment?

Well, some of the classes of the Department of Art and Art History are working on creating exhibitions using pieces from the seemingly mishmash collection of the hidden gallery.

Being on week four of classes students are now most likely trying to figure out a theme and an inventory for the exhibition they will create, according to Goody.

The pieces behind the gallery, worth thousands of dollars, are maintained, carefully stored and protected as much as possible, in the conditions that the art demands.

The sculptures, paintings and prints can be viewed upon request. Art appreciators, enthusiasts or interested individuals can email Goody at [email protected]

The current art exhibition at Wilson Hall’s Art Gallery is called “Ethics of Depiction: Landscape, Still Life, Human,” and it features a plethora of well-noted artists. The current exhibition will run until Nov. 19.