The Gund Gallery’s first-ever Associate-curated alumnae artist series, Alumnae: 50 Years, celebrates five decades of women’s impact on Kenyon College. As these artists return to their alma mater, we reflect on the ways in which the College influences and is influenced by its ever-changing student body. This series explores the interaction between bodies and the environments they inhabit, ranging from the body as an industrial being in the natural environment to a woman’s body as a commodity in the political arena. We hope that 50 Years sparks an awareness of our roles as active participants in an ever-changing system, whether that be Kenyon or beyond.
We gratefully acknowledge that the curatorial research and concepts formulated in an alumnae show proposal by Chair of Faculty and Studio Art Professor Marcella Hackbardt contributed to the development of this series of exhibitions.
On view now:
January 17-February 16, 2020
Both recent alumnae of Kenyon, Ashley Yang-Thompson ‘15 a.k.a. Miss Expanding Universe and Ally Schmaling ‘14 tackle gender politics and other social issues through their work. Ashley’s work is eccentric, witty, and often reminiscent of pop style. Ally’s photographic portraits display their subjects’ identities dramatically and with flair, particularly in her queer & non-binary portrait series. Bright colors and direct cultural and social critique bring these artists together to meaningfully contribute to the 50th anniversary of co-education at Kenyon, reminding us that gender is more than a binary. It is culturally complicated—constantly expanding and transforming.
Exhibition Related Events:
February 21-April 5, 2020: Kate Nichols ’04
April 9-May 24, 2020: Caroline Del Giudice ’15
Mitra Fabian ’96 & Erica Rosenfeld ’97
November 8-December 6, 2019
Concerned with the way materials communicate meaning, Mitra Fabian ‘96 and Erica Rosenfeld ‘97 transform manufactured objects into natural forms, underscoring the blurred relationship between culture and nature. Fabian’s biomorphic sculptures, made of resistors and capacitors, bring to mind magnified cells, underwater creatures, and human body parts. Similarly, Rosenfeld plays with the tension between the organic and the artificial through her glass eggshells and clouds. Although these two artists address different themes, their use of unique materials to create texture enables us to think about the remnants of our human activity.
Mallory Cremin ’84 & Cynthia Brinich-Langlois ’04
October 4-November 1, 2019
With diverse repertoires of artwork that include quilts, cyanotypes, lithographs, and books, Mallory Cremin ‘84 and Cynthia Brinich-Langlois ‘04 explore how landscapes have been altered by human activity. Cremin’s usage of fabric draws the issue of large-scale pollution into an intimate sphere, addressing issues such as pesticide disposal and domestic water use. Brinich-Langlois’s lithographs track the consequences of drought and her hand-drawn books follow the changing conditions in rural Wyoming sites
through twenty-four hour periods. Cremin and Brinich-Langlois position us not merely as audience and observer, but lead us to question the mark we make on the natural environment by our very existence.
Mia Halton ’73
For Girls Becoming Women; everyday encounters
August 30-September 27, 2019
Mia Halton ‘73 (American, b. 1950), a member of Kenyon’s first class of women, kicks off Gund Gallery’s celebratory Alumnae: 50 Years series with a whimsical installation of ceramics and figurines that explore the concept of everyday encounters in the lives of women and girls. This notion suggests a mixture of the unexpected and the mundane that make up the environment inhabited by women. Pop culture, the political present, and childhood literature all inform Halton’s understanding of encounters, resulting in a diverse range of subject matters that range from the revolutionary #METOO movement to the implications of The Scarlet Letter. Much of her work also playfully subverts the traditional narratives within fairy tales that serve as an early example of gender expectations. Intentionally cartoon-like and anonymous to encourage personal connections with the art, Halton’s work tackles the heavy themes of gender inequality and inequity with aesthetic and thematic whimsy.
Full Fall Schedule:
August 30-September 27, 2019: Mia Halton ’73
October 4-November 1, 2019: Mallory Cremin ’84 & Cynthia Brinich-Langlois ’04
November 8-December 6, 2019: Mitra Fabian ‘96 & Erica Rosenfeld ‘97
Gund Associate Project Leaders for the Exhibition Series:
Alasia Destine-DeFreece ‘21
Daniela Grande ‘20
Annika Ostrom ‘20
Jenny Tie ‘21
Rebekah Utian ‘22
Catherine Von Holt ‘19
The Gund Gallery exhibitions and programs are made possible, in part, by the Gund Gallery Board of Directors and the Ohio Arts Council.
Ashley Yang-Thompson, a.k.a. Miss Expanding Universe, Worm House 40, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
Images top to bottom:
Ally Schmaling, Akou 2, 2018. Digital photograph. 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Kate Nichols, The Biological Significance of These Sequences is Not Known 5 (Vanessa Cardui), 2017. Oil on panel. 23 x 23 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.
Caroline Del Giudice, Bias, n.d. Image courtesy of the artist.
Mitra Fabian (Iranian American, b. 1974), Cushion, 2017. Resistors and porcelain. 5 x 15 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.
Cremin (American), Ocean’s World, 2015/18. Cyanotype photogram on various fabrics, machine quilted. 36 x 32 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.
Mia Halton (American, b. 1950), Mad As Hell, 2017. Ink on paper. 20 x 40.5 inches. Courtesy of the artist.