The FOCUS Gallery is located on the second floor of the Humanities and Performing Arts Center. FOCUS is an acronym for "Featuring Outside Creative Undertakings of Students." The gallery is a unique partnership between USC Upstate and area schools to feature student artwork, lesson plans and assessments by the art teacher.
The FOCUS Gallery is a learning environment for both USC Upstate students and the young artists of featured schools. The gallery is used as a teaching tool for USC Upstate art education students, allowing them to view original artwork created in a standards-based visual arts classroom. The gallery exhibits the artwork as well as the lesson plan and the assessment technique from the art teacher, which are used during the creation of the artwork. Student writings about their own artwork are also displayed when available.
Exhibiting students are invited to view their artwork while it is on campus. A congratulatory letter with information about the gallery's location is sent to the student's parents. Included with the letter is a special invitation to attend a reception and gallery opening for exhibiting students. At the reception, the exhibiting students are presented with a special certificate to recognize their participation.
The mission of the FOCUS Gallery is to offer a broad range of student-produced work from schools in the upstate of South Carolina. The exhibitions focus on various grade levels and diverse populations in visual arts classrooms. The FOCUS Gallery is a teaching model with the primary purpose of informing art education students about student work produced in standard-based visual arts classrooms. While supporting the mission of the University, the gallery forges a relationship between K-12 schools and USC Upstate.
Each year the FOCUS Gallery showcases at least four different visual arts programs. In the spring, the gallery hosts the work of the graduating art education seniors and graduating seniors in the graphic design program. The FOCUS gallery includes opportunities for students to assist in the operational features of the gallery as a hands-on educational experience while gaining applied training.