Shift Space in temporary downshift mode

9:39:21 AM CDT - Wednesday, February 14, 2007

By Shannon LIttlejohn

Things have shifted considerably in the short life of Shift Space, a project of WSU’s School of Art and Design to exhibit student art in a public place. Although February’s Final Friday show has been canceled for lack of a space to shift to, the Shift Space gallery is still working on getting into a new home in Wichita’s Old Town district.

“The state moves very slowly sometimes,” said assistant painting professor and Shift Space coordinator Robert Bubp. But he is still hopeful that an agreement can be made soon with a space in Old Town.

The original concept for Shift Space was concocted in an agreement with Wichita’s Downtown Development Corp. The idea was to showcase the Shift Space gallery in various venues on Final Friday, a collaborative effort by art galleries in downtown Wichita, Old Town and the west Douglas Delano district.

Shift Space volunteers, however, quickly learned the difficulty of moving into a non-gallery space, putting up temporary gallery walls and lighting, and trying to maintain a presence beyond Final Friday, said Bubp.

That’s one of the reasons the school was thrilled with its lease at 326 S. Commerce, on block north of a heavily populated Commerce Street art district. Unfortunately, the building is being town down to make way for the city’s new downtown arena. Shift Space’s time there was up in November.

Commerce Street shows by Shift Space have included a fun and profitable Rent Party; an art-collides-with-technology exhibit from WSU’s Center for Research in Arts, Technology, Education and Learning; ceramic arts created by students, faculty and alumni; and even a fund-raiser for animals.

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