Located in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center on Transylvania University's campus, the Morlan Gallery serves the campus, local, and regional communities with six to seven provocative exhibitions each year. The exhibition calendar, in keeping with the academic year, begins in September and runs through graduation at the end of May.
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Exhibitions feature contemporary art and the gallery regularly draws works directly from local, regional, national, and international artists. The Morlan Gallery has presented major exhibitions of Appalachian folk art, Chinese art, and contemporary African art, and it has instigated experimental installation, performance, and video pieces. In addition, the gallery has organized comprehensive exhibitions of paintings, drawings, photographs, and bronze and ceramic sculptures.
Notable recent exhibitions include: Unplaced: New Work by Deana Rennick. A one-woman video and sculptural installation, Unplaced was exhibited in Spring 2006. Rennick was a yearlong Kenan visiting artist at Transylvania University and was named one of Sculpture Magazine's 2005 Contemporary Sculpture Award winners. In 2005 the Morlan Gallery hosted Thresholds: Expressions of Art and Spiritual Life, a dynamic show of regional artists exhibited in Morlan as well as nine satellite gallery locations in downtown Lexington. In conjunction with this show, nationally known art critic and Thresholds curator, Eleanor Heartney visited campus as a guest speaker. Colour Me/Discolour Me: Work by Berni Searle was exhibited in the Morlan Gallery in 2004 and was recognized by the Lexington Herald-Leader as one of Lexington’s best exhibitions for that year. Searle, an internationally recognized artist from Cape Town, South Africa, was also a visiting artist at Transylvania.
As part of the college program at Transylvania, Morlan Gallery exhibitions serve the curricula in the arts and humanities. The gallery serves the local college community, and just as importantly, draws a large audience from the entire Bluegrass Region. As a cultural center in the community, the gallery offers guided tours and lectures to school groups, civic clubs, and senior citizens organizations.
Free parking is plentiful and always available. Gallery hours are weekdays noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment. The Morlan Gallery participates in the Lexington Gallery Hop, a cooperative effort among for-profit galleries, not-for-profit arts groups, and private artists' studios. Over thirty sites are free and open to the public from 5 - 8 p.m. on the third Fridays in September, November, February, April, and June.