The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art is breaking new ground with its bi-semester exhibition series, “Oglethorpe’s Own” featuring exhibits created and curated entirely by Oglethorpe students.
This innovative, new series aims to amplify underrepresented voices while providing students the opportunity to take ownership of an exhibition that tells their unique stories.
The student-focused series was launched by the museum’s assistant collections manager and registrar, Druonna Collier.
“‘Oglethorpe’s Own’ was purposefully designed to cultivate and maintain a steadfast student presence within the university museum,” says Druonna Collier. “The series not only offers significant opportunities for professional development but also fosters a profound sense of ownership among students within the museum space.”
One of the key objectives of “Oglethorpe’s Own” is to offer valuable professional development opportunities within the museum field. The selected student artist is not simply a participant; they become an integral part of the exhibition creation process. From conceptualization to execution, students gain practical skills in exhibition preparation, including installation, layout, and framing.
The series, by design, instills a sense of ownership among the student artists. Beyond the exhibition itself, students actively contribute to the curation process, ensuring their voices are heard and their perspectives are valued.
The inaugural student artist currently featured — alongside the museum’s newest exhibition “Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection” — is studio art major Jenni Velasquez ’26. Both exhibitions are on view through Jan. 31.
Featuring six illustrations — done in acrylic, oil and graphite — and a sketchbook depicting loved ones, Velasquez’s deeply personal exhibition explores themes of culture, religion and immigration.
She hopes that her art can help educate and spread awareness about issues that affect immigrants.
“This opportunity has helped me realize how much I love what I do, and to continue with art,” says Velasqeuz. “I love when people listen to your stories. It connects you with people, and I think that it’s a very powerful thing.”