Unbeknownst to many, the UCen has been hosting a program that allows UCSB students, staff and faculty to display their artwork on the walls of the UCen gallery.

For the past seven years, showcase space for the gallery has consisted of the two walls above the computer consoles located directly across the study lounge from Nicoletti’s coffee shop.

Gary Lawrence, assistant director of marketing for the UCen, said these walls are a prime location for the artwork due to the high volume of students who frequent the area.

“Unfortunately, the last year or so, it has been very, very difficult to get people to apply,” Lawrence said. “This is due in part to what appears to be a general lack of knowledge about the existence of the UCen gallery.”

The University Center Governance Board sub-committee came up with the idea of using the UCen walls as a display area. The purpose of the gallery space is primarily for the artist’s benefit, but the UCen also benefits aesthetically, Lawrence said.

“It definitely beats having bare walls,” he said. “The art displayed does not follow any particular theme, except during some months when specific cultures are celebrated.”

Displaying work in the gallery is free and each set of work is normally up for four to six weeks. There are also few limitations on the type of artwork that can be displayed.

“We’ve had collages, oil paintings and watercolors, the work can be any medium,” Lawrence said. “The art should be two-dimensional due to the nature of the display space, but the only other stipulation is that it is nothing inflammatory or something that will offend someone. The sub-committee decides what can be displayed.”

Jonathan Cecil, facilities manager for the art studio program, said he was not aware of the opportunity to display artwork.

“More exhibition space for students is always great,” Cecil said.

Some artists have expressed concern about the lack of security measures taken to protect their work, but Lawrence said the UCen gallery has never had anything damaged or stolen.

To have work displayed, artists need to submit slides or photos of the work to be displayed and fill out an application available in the UCen administrative office, room 2264, or visit the UCen website www.ucen.ucsb.edu.