Pembroke is blessed with a variety of art treasures and an art-loving community.
From the colourful, richly encrusted Chapel interior, the portraits in the Hall and Broadgates to the unique JCR Art Collection, there is much to enjoy within the College as well as to share with visitors.
Its students recently set up a new association to encourage art appreciation which arranges gallery visits and life classes open to all. The JCR Art Collection is now a legally registered charity with student trustees and an endowment fund which permits it to buy new works each year, as well as offer special hardship and travel grants from investment income – thus ensuring that art has an even stronger relevance to the students, who can still borrow works from the Collection to hang in their rooms.
The latest Pembroke student publication is named “Bullfrog” after a sculpture in the Collection. In spite of all this, the College lacks the space to show off its collections to best advantage. The JCR Collection needs suitable hanging space to put its most valuable works on display, while the College needs somewhere to hold temporary exhibitions devoted to individual artists, its own treasures or just to play a fuller part in Oxford arts events and festivals.
The new gallery will be purpose-built and accessible, located on the ground floor of the building which will also house the auditorium and will have the new cafeteria in easy reach in all weather. Its interior design will be plain and un-distracting, with natural light coming from high slit windows, proper climate control and an ample store-room for art works which cannot be displayed.
With the new building project, Pembroke will have its own arts complex – accessible to the entire community and something which it can proudly share with others.