U-M's Stamps School announces new downtown gallery

The University of Michigan's Stamps School of Art and Design will open a new gallery for contemporary work in downtown Ann Arbor early next year.

The 8,000-square-foot Stamps Gallery will occupy the first floor of the McKinley Towne Centre at 201 S. Division St., between Liberty Street and South Washington Street. It will replace the school's existing gallery spaces on and off campus, including Work Gallery and Slusser Gallery, while providing 2,500 additional square feet for exhibitions.

Stamps School dean Guna Nadarajan says the new gallery will enhance the school's exhibition program and free up much-needed student workspace on North Campus, where existing galleries are being converted to studios.

Student exhibitions will be the gallery's main focus, but Nadarajan says bringing "the best of what is currently going on in art and design" from around the world to Ann Arbor is also a priority.

"One of our hopes is to continue to showcase some really exciting things that are going on in contemporary design," Nadarajan says. "And that's something that is not happening anywhere in Michigan."

The school will continue recent efforts to pursue at least one major contemporary show featuring international work per year, as well as one show curated from outside and one from within the Stamps school. Plans to partner on traveling exhibits with art and design schools at other universities are also in the works.

A new gallery director will be hired to run the Stamps Gallery, and the school will continue to hire several student assistants, temporary specialists, and installers to help set up and run exhibits throughout the year.

Renovations will start and be completed this fall, with the gallery opening this winter. The Stamps exhibition program will take a break during renovations and resume when the new gallery is open.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.