By: Nick Josselyn
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- In the dead center of the Niagara University campus, there is a marble building that stands out from the sandy brick buildings that surround it. The elegant marble structure is home to an array of traditional, modern and postmodern works of art that amaze with creativity and culture. While most passing by see a marvelous structure that is home to the products of creativity among numerous cultures, there is a function that most may not see as much; a quiet study hall that may be a great alternative to using the library for some students.
When walking into the lobby for the art gallery, there will be a collection of black square tables with a total of four chairs around each of them. This seating area can make a great place to open a book and study due to how quiet the art gallery is as opposed to even the library setting. Say goodbye to the distracting sounds of printers, staplers and copy machines, and hello to the relaxing white noise of ventilation fans, so quiet they wouldn’t mask the sound of a pencil dropping.
Movement can also be a distraction in the library as well. Every time I work in the library, I find myself distracted by peripheral movement of students and faculty walking back and forth from the printers, pacing to destress, and looking at all the books and media surrounding them. There isn’t much that moves in the Castellani Art Museum, however! Foot traffic around the museum typically ranges behind the white walls and art that are not visible from the studying area, limiting how distracting surrounding people can get from your studies. There are occasions where students pass the large windows to get to their cars, but this doesn’t distract often due to the highly limited parking spaces next to the museum.
Getting your mind off of the headache-inducing assignments you procrastinated on until the last minute is the hands down the worst part of studying, but the art in the Castellani is always an accessible commodity to use when a break is necessary.
With all of these positive statements about the Castellani Art Museum study area, there are some things you should consider before using it. First, the museum is not open on Mondays and they close every other day around 5p.m, which might not be worth studying there if you’re working on a long project rather than smaller assignments. Next, the tables in the lobby do not have open electrical outlets next to them, so bringing a backup battery or power source might be a necessity when doing homework electronically.
If a student knows their studying preferences, and the library just doesn’t cut it, the Castellani Art Museum may be a perfect substitute for Niagara University’s more traditional homework destination. The Castellani has a lot less distracting background noise and movement as opposed to a typical library, so students who are sensitive to background activity may find the peaceful environment of an art museum more fitting for them. Just remember a backup battery and the museum’s business hours and the museum may very well become your new study corner!