Visitors to the dean's suite at the Sloan School of Management are often surprised to see fiery bursts of color, delicate brushstroke studies, striking photographs or bold sculptures in marble and steel. This is the Dean's Gallery, where an ongoing series of exhibits celebrates the artistic creativity of the MIT/Sloan community.
Now, in a nod to modern technology, the gallery has gone on-line.
"Putting these exhibits on the World Wide Web will allow us to reach a much wider audience," explained Michelle Fiorenza, who manages the Gallery on a volunteer basis. "One of our goals is to show people that the arts are flourishing in this community."
Artist Elizabeth Reid Maruska '79 is the first to have her show simultaneously displayed in physical space and cyberspace. From May 11 through June 15, her gouache and mixed media works are on view in an exhibition entitled Adventures on the Right Side of the Brain.T
The work of Sloan artists has been on display since February 1994, when a spacious but drab foyer was transformed into the Dean's Gallery. The project was initated by Robert McKersie, former deputy dean and now Sloan Fellows Professor of Management. Ms. Fiorenza, a support staff member and photographer, was the first to show her work.
Dean Glen L. Urban, himself an accomplished sculptor whose work has been shown in the space, sees art as complementary to the more traditional work of a business school.
"Creativity, the arts and management education aren't as disparate as they might seem," he said. "Sculpture has provided an important personal dimension to my life and has also helped me to be more creative in my analytical research work at MIT. The Gallery is also one of the ways we can show the other side of Sloan-how our product is different from what people perceive."
Ms. Maruska, an alumna of the Sloan Master's Program, agrees. "My art is an invitation to release the viewer's own creativity, which can help you be more productive at work or at home."
The Dean's Gallery is located on the World Wide Web at , just a link away from the Sloan School's home pageat . In addition to featuring the current artist, the on-line gallery includes a selection of images and descriptions of work from all previous shows and personal statements by the artists.
The popularity of the Dean's Gallery has also led to the Dean's Distinguished Art Speaker Series, where artists discuss their work. A recent speaker was Stephen A. Benton, Allen Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT and a leading researcher in holography, who discussed the history of holography as reflected in the MIT Museum's new collection of holographic art-the world's largest.
Artwork submitted for the gallery is reviewed by the Sloan Arts Committee. All forms of creative expression are welcome, Ms. Fiorenza explained, and there appears to be no shortage of talent. "We're booked through November," she said.
The gallery is located in Rm E52-466 and is open Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm. For further information call x3-9455.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 24, 1995.