Named after Emeritus Professor and former chair of the Art Department, the Harry Wood Gallery of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts was established in 1971.
Since that time, the purpose of the gallery has been to provide students, faculty and academic professionals of the School of Art with exhibition space that serves the needs of the school. In accordance with the overall objectives of Arizona State University, the gallery supports the research, teaching and public service functions of the school.
The gallery serves first as a venue for Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibitions which represent one of the requirements for the fulfillment of the MFA degree under School of Art and Graduate College procedures. Each exhibition must first undergo an Oral Thesis Defense before a committee of select School of Art faculty. Once the student has been approved, the exhibition will be opened to the public for the duration of one to two weeks. MFA thesis exhibitions are organized and scheduled according to procedures established by the graduate studio committee. All other exhibitions are subject to application to and approval from the gallery director and the gallery and exhibitions committee.
The Harry Wood gallery also serves as a venue for annual exhibitions such as the Nathan Cummings Foundation Juried Travel Exhibition, New Graduate Student Exhibition, Juried Undergraduate Exhibition, and Annual Summer MFA Exhibition. Other exhibitions that may occur when the schedule permits include exhibits mounted by media specific student organizations such as A Buncha Book Artists (ABBA) and the Printmaking Students Association (PSA).
In recognition of the primary function of the gallery as an academic and teaching tool of the School of Art, the selection of exhibitions will inevitably, over time, include content not appreciated or understood by all viewers and visitors. If educational value can be demonstrated, diverse content is sought and controversy is not avoided.