Shiftspace Gallery starts petition to reinstate funding

If the student fees committee recommendation passes, the gallery would receive a 65.8% cut.


Lena Alhallaq/ The Sunflower

Wichita State’s ShiftSpace Gallery hosts an opening reception for “From Lima to Wichita” on July 2nd.

A petition to reinstate Shiftspace Gallery’s full funding has received over 300 signatures.

Shiftspace Gallery, a downtown student-run art gallery, received a 65.8% decrease in the student fees proposal. If the proposal gets passed by the student senate and signed by the president, it would cut the gallery’s manager position and just be enough to pay the gallery’s rent.

Without the gallery manager, the gallery would struggle to stay afloat. The gallery itself does not make any income.

“We would lose the space without a gallery manager in place there so it really cut Shiftspace,” Manager Kristin Beal said. 

Lydia Humphreys, president of the gallery, said that having a student in the full-time gallery manager position, without getting paid, would be too much to ask.   

ShiftSpace gallery’s request was debated heavily after questioning its Registered Student Organization status. However, while many student organizations can develop through Shiftspace, the gallery as a whole is not an RSO. 

“We were asking for funding as an org, not a registered student organization … I hope that they realize that that was a misunderstanding,” Beal said. 

Representative John Kirk initially motioned to give them $0 due to its questionable RSO status.

“I would share my concern of eliminating funding for a position without at least some time to prepare for that,” Gabriel Fonseca, SGA advisor, said at the hearings.

SGA Treasurer Zachary James made a motion to fund $23,000 instead of their full $67,445 request. The vote on the motion was tied so James voted in favor to break it.

“I’m really just looking to pay for the gallery itself,” James said.

Members of Shiftspace plan to speak in public forum at the next SGA meeting on March 23. Through that, they hope to reinstate the gallery’s funding.

“I support students, I love working with students, I know there are students in SGA that support Shiftspace … I don’t question that,” Beal said. “This is a misunderstanding that needs to be corrected.”

Applied learning

Shiftspace Gallery opened in 2005, according to It became an org through SGA in 2008. Students get to take on a role within the gallery including, but not limited to, preparator, curator, social media manager and community outreach coordinator. 

Professor Robert Bubp founded Shiftspace. He said that it adds value to learning opportunities on campus.

“[Shiftspace] completely aligns with the university’s ‘applied learning’ philosophy,” he said. “Students who volunteer or work there learn the tools to exhibit, brand, and fund exhibitions, as well as create and facilitate opportunities to engage with the local public.

“Students who exhibit there learn the skills needed to install, light [and] label artwork for exhibition and they gain experience in putting their work in front of the community.”

Humphreys said that it provides real-world experience.

“In the school, we’re trained how to make artwork … But we aren’t necessarily taught how do you prep your work for a gallery,” Humphreys said. “And that’s just so important, because that’s what could boost their career later on.”

Many of the art shows are open call for students.

“We definitely do work to cater towards every student on this campus,” Humphreys said. “We have people from different colleges who work with us … The beauty of the funding coming from SGA is that it’s part of the requirement, that we cater for the entire school and the student body.”