EDITORIAL: Hidden gems can be found all over AC

Students really should take advantage of the wonderful opportunities (besides a great education) available to them through Amarillo College. Here at The Ranger, we refer to them as AC’s hidden gems.

One of our favorites is Russell Hall on the Washington Street Campus. As you enter the foyer of the building, you can see various oil paintings. If you continue down the hallway, you will see a mixture of drawings, sketches, reclaimed or found art, and sometimes you get a glimpse of ceramics.

On the south end of the building next to the entrance is a life-drawing gallery that displays student drawings of the human form. There also is student art and photography in the Southern Light Gallery in Lynn Library and in the photography gallery in 204 Parcells Hall. Throughout the school year, each of the galleries changes as new work is rotated in.

While none of the other campuses have a museum to call their own, the Polk Street Campus often displays student artwork produced in personal enrichment classes, including crocheting, woodworking, sketching and oil painting.

The West Campus, while mainly utilitarian, is conveniently located in close proximity to Medi-Park and the Don Harrington Discovery Center. The park usually is quiet, making it a nice place to take a lunch or study break. The Discovery Center is a great place for students and their families to spend an afternoon or few hours on a Saturday.

The Hereford, East and Moore County campuses are involved with events in their local communities and often participate in activities sponsored by the Washington Street Campus and the Student Government Association. Some of those activities include the Creative Mind series, he Distinguished Lecture series and the Common Reader lecture series.

Doc Hendley, author of this year’s Common Reader, Wine to Water, is this semester’s guest speaker. Hendley will speak at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Admission is free to the public, and there will be a question-and-answer session after the lecture.

Through AC’s partnerships with organizations that celebrate the arts, students also may visit the Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo Natural History Museum and the Amarillo Opera for free or reduced rates.

The AMoA is on the corner of 22nd Avenue and South Van Buren Street. Because there is no admission charge, students can view the art at any time during regular business hours. AMoA is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends (except for during exhibition installation weeks).

The Amarillo Natural History Museum is in the north end of Ordway Hall. It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays or by appointment.

Amarillo Opera is located at 2223 South Van Buren St. Its office can be reached at 806-372-7464. The AO works with AC to train students in opera, mainstage productions and educational outreach programs. It also offers free admission to AC students for some performances.

AC also partners with the Suzuki program, which trains students to play stringed instruments, including the violin and viola. Through the partnership with AC, many students learn to play while they are still young. Music is a universal language that opens doors, minds and pocketbooks.

With all these opportunities, it’s a shame that more students don’t take advantage of what the college offers besides a basic education. We don’t want these gems to go to waste. Come out and get close to a little piece of culture.

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