Caroline Del Giudice ‘15 examines often-unquestioned biases through a combination of sculptures and interactive installations. By recontextualizing and reshaping familiar objects such as construction hats and tape measures, Del Giudice challenges the objectivity of personal ideology and instead explores the inherently subjective experience of perceiving and interpreting the world. In particular, Del Giudice’s work demands the audience to join her in that confrontation of personal belief by addressing issues such as media bias, social positionality, and echo chambers. Deeply critical and political, Del Giudice’s work asks each audience member to reckon with the complex relationship between systems of power and their own internalized beliefs.
*Rescheduled due to COVID
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.