Student-Run Downtown “Pop-up” Gallery Offers Creative Venue for Local Artists

It’s back.

The Rabbit Gallery, a “pop-up” art gallery run by Lawrence University students, returns to downtown Appleton Thursday, May 16 with a grand opening from 5-8 p.m. in its latest location, 10 E. College Ave., (the former Avenue Arts store).

As a “pop-up” gallery, the Rabbit Gallery is by nature a temporary venue that utilizes empty downtown storefronts that are for sale or lease. Its goal is twofold: market the vacant properties to potential buyers and provide professional space for local artists to showcase their work.

The gallery features a wide range of artwork — ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media — created by community artists, Lawrence faculty, students and staff as well as area high school students. The gallery will operate from May 16 through June 8:  Wednesday and Thursdays, 4-8 p.m.; Fridays 4-9 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; and Sunday, 12-3 p.m.

The Rabbit Gallery concept is a product of the Lawrence economics class “Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Society,” part of the college’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship program.

“The Rabbit Gallery is an opportunity to bring our community together to celebrate art while showcasing a property that has been renovated and re-purposed in an exciting way,” said Lawrence senior Johnathan Vanko, one of the student organizers of the gallery. “Through this process we hope to also help develop and grow our downtown community.”

This will be the third edition of the Rabbit Gallery, having previous “popped up” in the gift shop half of Conkey’s Bookstore in 2011 and last spring it operated in the 500 block of W. College Ave.

The aim of the Rabbit Gallery is to create a bridge between Lawrence and the Appleton community by providing opportunities for both student and local artists to display and sell their work, while aiding in the development of the downtown Appleton area. The Rabbit Gallery sells its artwork for a lower commission than most stores and galleries, assists in the marketing and potentially the sale of a for-lease property, and teaches students about business, non-profits and the art world.

Joining Vanko in running this year’s gallery are seniors Mari Ayala, Allison Bjork, Deborah Levinson and Anam Shahid under the direction of Associate Professor of Art Rob Neilson and Lecturer of Economics Gary Vaughn.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.