Baruch students explore college art collection on Mishkin Gallery tour

Mia Euceda, Arts & Culture Editor

The Mishkin Gallery, in collaboration with the Undergraduate Student Government, held its first tour of Baruch College’s art collection on April 20.

The tour featured the paintings, sculptures and photographs displayed on the first five floors of Baruch College’s Newman Vertical Campus.

Mishkin Gallery Nagelberg Graduate Fellow Dasom Sohn curated the tour after realizing she wasn’t familiar with the art she sees on her way to class.

“I was … passing by all these artworks in the hallway and was wondering what stories were behind them,” Sohn said. “I curated this tour so not just me, but all the students at Baruch can know more about the artworks they’re passing by every day.”

Mishkin Gallery curatorial and collections assistant Carlos Nazario guided the tour and provided context for the featured art, inviting students to share their opinions on the pieces.

The tour featured about 20 works. Nazario told students that he showed a small portion of Baruch’s original art collection. Baruch owns the most artwork out of the CUNY colleges and possesses roughly 900 works from over 200 artists, mainly from the 20th century.

“It’s kind of special to have this big art collection,” Sohn said.

Sohn stated about half of the art on the tour is by female artists and artists from a variety of cultures. She believed the collection’s variety of mediums and backgrounds mirrors the college’s diverse student body.

“Victoria de Samotracia (Afro-Taina)” by Puerto Rican artist Juan Sánchez was one of the featured artworks. The collage, located on the second floor, was inspired by “The Winged Victory of Samothrace” which depicts the Greek goddess Nike.

Sánchez interprets the goddess as a woman wearing a wing and is decorated with six colorful feathers fixed near her neck. Nazario said Sánchez’s work centers on social justice themes and the survival of Puerto Rican culture. He also pointed out that the colored feathers were a nod to the LGBTQ+ community.

Nazario viewed the displayed art as a way for students to gain more exposure to art.

“Art is for everybody. That’s why I believe Baruch wants original pieces scattered throughout the hallways. Everyone should have accessibility to art,” he said.

Sohn and Nazario plan to host another art tour in the future, hoping to inspire students to inquire more about the arts.

“There is more to life than just studying,” Nazario said. “Let your eyes wander. Let your eyes absorb the colors. Question everything you see, you know?”

Sohn invited tour attendees to view Mishkin’s permanent student-curated online exhibition to continue exploring Baruch’s art collection and provided a survey for students to give feedback on the tour.

Arts administration major Blair Pincus said she enjoyed the tour and believed the art affects students even if they don’t thoroughly observe it. “The Open Book” by Elizabeth Murray, an abstract graffiti-inspired sculpture displayed near the NVC entrance, stood out to her.

“I think art has an energy to it. When students walk into the campus, they unconsciously see this open book, like you’re open to the opportunities [at] Baruch,” Pincus said.

The Mishkin Gallery and the USG Arts Committee are also hosting a scavenger hunt from April 17 to April 30. The scavenger hunt invites students to search for 20 artworks scattered around the NVC and Mishkin Gallery. Participants have the chance of winning one of three tiers: the first-place winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a copy of artist Aura Rosenberg’s book “What is Psychedelic,” whose exhibition of the same name is currently on display at the gallery until June 9.

The gallery will extend its hours and stay open until 9:00 p.m. to celebrate the “What is Psychedelic” exhibit on May 8. Rosenberg will also attend the celebration.

Mishkin’s upcoming exhibition “We didn’t ask permission, we just did it…” will be available from Aug. 31 to Dec. 8.  The exhibit will reflect on three Puerto Rican exhibition series that impacted artists on the island.