Created by the School of Art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro Project Space (GPS) is an off-campus contemporary art center in Downtown Greensboro that acts as a bridge between students and faculty in the School of Art, and the Greensboro community. Half of our programs are by School of Art students and faculty, and half are split between a diverse range of communities and artists off-campus, and on-campus.
Our off-campus location plays a key role in expanding accessibility to the arts. We invite students and faculty of UNCG, Greensboro community members, and the worldwide community, to connect and collaborate. GPS acts as a space for students to have critical dialogue that is in context to people and issues outside of our university. We also act as a neutral space and home-base for the community-engaged initiatives that the university has created. Not only does GPS act as a site for engagement, but it actively helps facilitate connections between a variety of partner organizations, community members, educators, and students.
Each year around half of the programs at Greensboro Project Space (GPS) are by students and faculty in the School of Art, and half are split between local artists, community members, and organizations, and non-School of Art UNCG Departments, Colleges, Schools, and Offices at UNCG. While GPS was created to connect UNCG School of Art students to communities off-campus, there are many communities on-campus that students don’t regularly engage with. Because of this, there has been a large emphasis on inviting other departments, colleges, schools, and offices at UNCG to use GPS as a public and creative platform. Through this, GPS acts as a space for School of Art students to interact with people, communities, and ideas outside of their physical and conceptual surroundings resulting in an increased amount of interdisciplinarity and collaboration within their experiences at UNCG. This initiative creates opportunities and space for School of Art students to build larger creative communities outside of their own department, and for them to grow their artistic practice by engaging with interdisciplinary concepts and principles which are integral to being a successful and fulfilled artist. This also allows the Greensboro community to get a unique window into the creative endeavors of a variety of programs at the university.
At GPS we consistently strive to be never fully booked for students who want to utilize the space. We pursue this by primarily hosting shorter exhibits, leveraging strategic programming by intentionally overlapping and connecting exhibits and performances, separating our space in unique ways, and providing off-site exhibition spaces. In fiscal year 2019 we hosted 96 unique programs, average 1.5 programs per week. Students respond to what is happening in the world and need a place to create art in response now, not later. This initiative encourages students to take risks, experiment, embrace their spontaneous nature, and use GPS as a public laboratory to work out their ideas in real time and space.
GPS believes in offering students and artists tools to help facilitate community engagement. Furthermore, these initiates offer students and artists alternative spaces to create and exhibit work in. Some of these tools include:
+The City Billboard: A text-only, artist driven billboard on the roof of our building that students, visiting artists, and community members can use to reach the 30,000 who drive by our building each day.
+GPS Kiosks: Freestanding structures that are put in public space. They can show images, videos, or audio, and act as a way to connect the community to the GPS programs.
+Art Truck: A gallery inside of an outfitted moving truck to do mobile, community-facing projects.
+GPS Correspondents: People around the world become experimental journalists for GPS, connecting Greensboro to diverse people and places outside of our city. +GPS Terminal: A rotating video gallery at 219 W. Lewis St.