Navigating OU Art Gallery’s new exhibition, ‘Critical Voices’

On Sept. 9, the Oakland University Art Gallery (OUAG) celebrated the opening of its newest exhibition, “Critical Voices: Selections from the Hall Collection.” Seeing as the only other time I’d ever visited the campus art gallery was to get my COVID vaccine, I was more than happy to return as a patron.

This exhibition features the works of 15 German and American contemporary artists who reflect on pivotal developments in each culture.

“[…] My intention in curating this exhibition is to show how artists, always on the forefront of change, react with their vigilant and diverse voices to the unfolding drama of social and technological transformation,” curator and OUAG manager Leo Barnes said in the forward of the exhibition’s catalogue.

In my personal opinion, Barnes’ point came across seamlessly. The range of profound work speaks for itself.

During my visit to the gallery, I felt as though I was able to piece together the story behind each piece. I think it was the relevance that provoked a feeling of sympathy toward the art itself — something I personally had never experienced in an art exhibit.

If you haven’t been to the OUAG, know that it is a very intimate space. This is a quality that I think plays to the advantage of this particular exhibit. 

Because there are a variety of mediums to observe, each piece feels like a different person with a different story to tell. It’s as though the exhibit is just a room full of people having a conversation in an evolutionary period of time.

OUAG had the pleasure of making this exhibition possible with the Hall Art Foundation — an organization which, according to their website, “collaborates with other public institutions around the world to organize exhibitions and facilitate loans from its own collection and that of the Halls.”

The gallery is located in Wilson Hall 208 and is free to the public. “Critical Voices,” however, is only available to the community until Nov. 20.

For further details on the exhibit and gallery hours, visit