The LAB is in session!

On View


What is the LAB?

The LAB is part of the educational mission of the Power Plant Gallery. At selected times during our exhibitions cycle, we close to the public and open up our space to Duke classes and students. Through the LAB we invite students to think about the gallery as an experimental space – a white box in which they can engage with issues of presentation, layout, and ethics. And without an audience involved, we hope it allows for more risk taking and productive failure (two cornerstones of all good art education).

What happens in the LAB?

Like many labs, lots of testing. For the arts this comes in as many forms as one might expect. We often see professors using the LAB as a meeting place for students to spread out and test installation ideas, sequence photographs, or layout work. We also often see our MFAEDA graduate students us the LAB to work out their tech needs in advance of their thesis exhibitions (think three channel installation with Matrox and motion sensors). Ultimately, we encourage everyone to move their theoretical thoughts and ideas into practice, discuss the outcome, troubleshoot as needed, and keep creating.

What are the dates for the LAB and how can I get in?

This year due to COVID we are offering an extended LAB from January 4-April 30, 2021. We recognize having a safe place to continue practicing art is essential and the long LAB time will allow us to spread out interactions and be available as needed to our Duke community.

If you're a professor or a student at Duke working in the arts and you would like to engage with the LAB, be in touch with us at And if you're not sure how you might use the LAB, but you're interested in batting ideas around, shoot us a note anyway. Either Caitlin Margaret Kelly, director, or Emily MacDiarmid, gallery manager, will get back to you. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis.

Student using the LAB
A graduate student uses the LAB to test install a project for critique.