10 years ago, the Gund Gallery opened its doors for the first time. And while we turn 10 only once, one constant remains: the Gund Gallery is a unique place where art, people, and new ideas consistently meet. In the last decade, and still, to this day, it has embodied this ethos and keeps expanding on it. At this moment in its history, the Gallery has evolved to become a transformative space for the intellectual life of this campus, reaffirming the vitality of critical thinking and interpretation, while creating generative conditions for collective learning and discovery.
Organized as a call-and-response, the anniversary exhibition, which extends over the 2021–2022 academic year, uses the Gund Gallery Collection as a point of departure for renewed forms of engagements and connectivity. As you may remember, we started the year by asking ourselves: What are the stories we haven’t yet told? This re-hanging of our collection, in dialogue with new works, is our invitation to explore some of our findings. We are looking at practices that challenge dominant narratives while addressing omissions in the record. This exhibition explores the possibilities that emanate from our collection and affirms how, together, we can become more inclusive storytellers and stewards. As you’ll experience with this iteration of the exhibition, the Gund Gallery is paying close attention to the work of artists at different moments of emergence, as well as the crossovers between certain practices. The Gallery is also a space where you, dear visitor, are not only a witness to the project but an active participant in the process.
With this renewed iteration of Call/Response: The Gund Gallery Turns 10, we reinforce the evolving role of our collection as a productive site of critical inquiry. As a teaching museum, it is also about stewarding visual language that steps in when words can’t. I invite you to consider thoughtfully the stories that these new additions tell. Artists have many ways—subtle, encrypted, metaphorical, or explicit—to leave us with more to ponder than we know. They are also able to introduce more complex topics of conversation, which amplify the importance of civil discourse in relation to art. The Gund Gallery is a space for unexpected connections to be made, and for your imagination to wander into new territories.
―Daisy Desrosiers, Director and Chief Curator, Gund Gallery
This re-hanging of Call and Response: The Gund Gallery Turns 10 was made possible, in part, by the Ohio Arts Council. The Gund Gallery thanks the generous lenders of this exhibition; the Pizzuti Collection, Aline and Gregory Gooding Collection, Jack Shainman Gallery, and Art Bridges. We also thank our Board of Directors for their ongoing support.
Image Gallery coming soon
Ten years ago, the Gund Gallery opened its doors. Built over time through the steadfast support of Kenyon College and many generous donors, and with the expertise of the Gallery’s team of museum professionals, the Gund Gallery has grown into a remarkable institution. Still young and in development, we acknowledge and celebrate an unwavering commitment to promoting artistic excellence, supporting the voices of contemporary artists, and creating innovative academic and community programs.
Over the past decade, the Gallery has invited numerous artists to campus and has demonstrated the expansive qualities of the objects it stewards through exhibitions, curricular engagements, and free community activities. With its two hundred art objects that represent movements from the late twentieth century to the present day, the Gund Gallery is a vital example of what art can achieve when nurtured with thoughtfulness, openness and rigor. Celebrating this ten-year milestone in the Gallery’s history will be an opportunity to share what we hold dear and to celebrate it.
Organized as a call-and-response, the anniversary exhibition, which extends over the 2021–2022 academic year, uses the Gund Gallery Collection as a point of departure for artists and audiences to engage. We launch the next decade with a simple thought: What are the stories we haven’t yet told? In celebrating a decade of extraordinary work, we want to look ahead by amplifying the unsung voices and narratives that could help us better understand what our collection encompasses. With this invitation we ask of ourselves and our audiences to be audacious in our interpretations and, most importantly, to remain open to the findings. This initiative aims to push further what this space is and can be, and, through a process-based approach, to explore how our engagement with art is also about our relationships with others. We want to embrace new modes of knowledge production, and to experience the museum as an evolving environment.
Museums are inherently complex amalgams of knowledge, traditions, and conventions. Collections, as a by-product of the latter, can therefore be contextualized in many ways. With Call/Response: The Gund Gallery Turns 10, the collection aims to be a productive site of critical inquiry. The 2021 fall semester will be the incubation period. The works presented will be an invitation to consider and deepen the questions that persist as we spend time with them. The 2022 spring semester will be an adapted re-hanging of the exhibition, presenting some of the responses received and developed in the fall. Some of these responses will be loans from other collections, while others will come from our students, our faculty, community members, and invited artists.
It is with this open premise that we launch the celebration of the tenth anniversary. The Gund Gallery is a space for dialogue and convening informed by art, people, and ideas. This call-and-response is about coming together. Through diverse programs conceived in collaborations with campus and community partners, and realized through curricular engagements, students’ performances, K-12 activities, discussion series, speaking engagements, the launch of commissioned projects, Instagram takeovers, interpretative label texts from the Gund Associates, and the creation of an inaugural Gund Gallery Collection guide series, Call/Response: The Gund Gallery Turns 10 looks forward to the future―one that we embrace with you in all of its variations and interpretations.
―Daisy Desrosiers, Director and Chief Curator, Gund Gallery
The Gund Gallery exhibitions and programs are made possible, in part, by the Gund Gallery Board of Directors and the Ohio Arts Council.
Image: An installation view of Call/Response: The Gund Gallery Turns 10 featuring the photographic work of Sara Cwynar. On view at the Gund Gallery through July 1, 2022.