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Wexner Center for the Arts to offer free gallery admission

Arts center also announces summer programming, discounted parking

The Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University unveiled a new partnership that will allow the institution to welcome guests free of charge, beginning June 10. Guests can avail themselves of free admission with the center’s multifaceted exhibition “Portal For(e) the Ephemeral Passage,” which opens next month.

“We are delighted to announce a transformational new initiative intended to allow for greater access to the center itself,” said Kelly Stevelt, the center’s co-interim executive director. “Starting with our summer platform…, we are thrilled to be leading the way for museums in Ohio by offering free gallery admission all year-round to everyone.”

Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa L. Gilliam spoke to an assembled crowd about the Wexner Center’s upcoming events and how they fit into the larger picture of Ohio State as an arts destination.

“The Wex really anchors the university’s commitment to the arts and links us to the larger community and to the state and to the world,” Gilliam said. “It’s extraordinary and unique among its peers.”

Gilliam said the free admission policy reflects the university’s priorities.

“One of the things the Wex does so beautifully, with the help of many of you, is to focus on issues of equity and also access and affordability, really trying to make our galleries free and open and the work that we do that much more accessible,” she said.

jaamil olawale kosoko, guest curator of “Portal For(e),” introduced the summer-long exhibition. Their role as curator is part of the artist’s three-year collaboration with the institution as an Artist Residency Award recipient. The exhibition provides interconnected events that invite visitors to ruminate on Black feminism and queer theory, as well as intimacy and wellness. In addition to works by kosoko, “Portal For(e)” features pieces from nora chipaumire, Jennifer Harge and Devin Drake, Dana Michele, Jasmine Murrell and Keioui Keijaun Thomas.

“Through sharing space alongside each other, the artists featured in ‘Portal For(e)’ pronounced an otherwise unpronounced critical interpretation,” kosoko said. “We’re re-worlding a world anew during this time of heightened global violence and perpetual pandemics.”

Free gallery admission is made in possible in part through a partnership with the American Electric Power Foundation and other supporters in the community. Another benefit available to Wexner Center guests this summer is discounted parking for film and video and performing arts events thanks to a partnership with CampusParc. Those events will require paid admission.

“Please mark your calendars,” Stevelt said. “We hope to see you regularly and often here at the Wex.”  

“Portal For(e)” kicks off on Thursday, June 9, with a preview party and a dub reggae night at the Wex. A week of opening celebrations will follow.

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