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David Gentilini appointed director of the Schumacher Gallery
By Kaitie EddyDavid Gentilini is inspiring a new and bold passion for The Schumacher Gallery.As the newly appointed director and 1998 Capital graduate, Gentilini has close ties with the gallery. He started as an assistant to the former director, Cassandra Tellier, back in 2000. Tellier was also Gentilini’s art history professor, and gave him not only his job, but also his passion for the gallery. Tellier was director for 26 years, and Gentilini was with her for 14 of those years. During that time, Gentilini and Tellier shaped a unique mission for the future of The Schumacher. They started crafting ideas to reach out and bring more of the Bexley community in. “From what I’ve heard, Bexley is working on a master art plan,” Gentilini said. “And when you have a museum of this caliber, it should definitely be in the discussion.”
- David Gentilini
Although Schumacher may not be able to compete with the Wexner Center for the Arts, it still has a lot to offer as an educational gallery. The Schumacher Gallery has the largest Inuit collection in the Midwest with around 300 pieces, and the largest African collection in the state.“We try to fill the holes that you can’t get in Columbus. You can’t get this African work to view and study anywhere else in Columbus,” Gentilini said. “Because of this, I personally think we compete with the Columbus Museum of Art in many ways, even though they have a much larger collection.”Gentilini’s goal is to bring more of the public in to the gallery, and to make it more of a “center or hub.” One idea is to offer more programming that’s not centered around the art, or even to make the art seem more relevant with the help of educational videos that tie into the piece. Gentilini encourages anyone who hasn't been to the gallery in a while, or even at all, to come up and give it a glance. “We’re a destination.”The Schumacher Gallery's permanent collections offer a wonderfully diverse selection of more than 2,500 works for study and enjoyment. These collections encompass 2,000 years of cultural history, and include original works by well-known artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Rembrandt and Goya.Two summers ago, the gallery underwent a major renovation. All seven of the major collections were redone in some fashion, four of which underwent major changes.Currently, the gallery is hosting Capital’s collection of Norman Rockwell’s art, which has not been on display for 30 years.“Only about 30 percent to 40 percent of Capital’s collection is on display at a time,” Gentilini said. “I try to rotate as much as possible, but there’s just so much more in storage. We’re bursting at the seams.”With such a large collection of art at its disposal, talk of expansion for Schumacher Gallery is not out of the question.“I think there’s a real opportunity for a new gallery,” Gentilini said. “Not only for Capital, but also for Bexley, to maybe dress up the neighborhood.”Although it’s not certain whether The Schumacher Gallery will expand, at least for now, you can see it in its current location on the fourth floor of Blackmore Library. Gentilini has a variety of showcases planned to keep staff, students, and community members satisfied for quite some time.One show of note is titled “Vessels,” and showcases all female artists. This exhibition begins in January 2018. There are also annual student art exhibitions hosted in the gallery, and meet-the-artist opening receptions during a showcase.For more information on these and other events, a calendar of gallery showcases can be found at www.capital.edu/schumacher.