MPIRG/Fulcrum host Pieces of Hamline art gallery

Hanna Haglund and Jackie Bussjaeger

Good things come to those who wait, and the Pieces of Hamline art gallery has waited long enough. The idea for a collaborative art display that celebrates the uniqueness of the Hamline community was first conceived by Hamline’s chapter of MPIRG and the Fulcrum literary journal last fall. However, due to a lack of submissions when they initially announced the idea, they decided to postpone the event to later in the year. The delay gave them time to publicize the gallery more widely and plan the details, and their efforts met with success: last Thursday, they proudly presented Pieces of Hamline in the art gallery of Giddens Learning Center.

The diverse combination of poetry, paintings and unique performances made the first annual art show one to remember. MPIRG reached out through social media and local advertising to gather art submissions from artists all throughout the Twin Cities.

“Pieces of Hamline is focusing on the artist’s identity, diversity and experiences through visual art, spoken word and written work,” MPIRG member Katie Jerome  (‘16) said.

The exhibit displayed around 30 submissions, with a special emphasis on how the artwork related to diversity, identity and experience, according to an email interview with MPIRG member Brooke Wallington (‘15).

The gallery was co-hosted by members of the Fulcrum literary journal, with support from HU Radio and Groundswell, which provided coffee and pastries for guests. Nearly 50 people attended the event to view the visual displays and listen to the live performance pieces.

The event embraced the MPIRG mission to “empower and engage students to take collective action in the public interest.” Wallington and Quentin Turner, both sophomores, are dedicated members of MPIRG and urge more students to get involved.

“MPIRG has a goal to work on issues that are important to students. We want to show people that students can make a difference in policy and social issues,” Wallington said. She added that she would like to see this gallery become an annual event and that there are already some plans to put together another gallery next year. She hopes that next year’s event receives even more submissions and that they are able to find a more expansive space on campus to display them. They also hope to promote the performance aspect of the gallery and advertise an open mic portion.

Wallington extended an invitation for students to participate in other MPIRG events this year, including an upcoming springtime opportunity to adopt Como Lake and clean up the pollution. She shared that anyone is welcome to attend the weekly Monday meetings at 4:15 p.m. in GLC 141S. The group discusses social issues, the task forces, student feedback and changes students would like to see on campus.

“We invite students to say what they would like to see change on campus and in the community. It’s important for students to make a difference,” Wallington said.

To find out more about MPIRG and what they do, you can like them on Facebook at or email