On Feb 6, 2020, the opening night reception for 20/20 VISION, an art exhibit featuring new work by 20 student artists, was held in VCAM. Organized by Courtney Carter, Post Baccalaureate Fellow for the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities (HCAH), this exhibit was based on an open call sent out to the student body for art submissions.
When speaking with Carter during the reception about the process behind the exhibit, she explained how 20/20 VISION came to be and emphasized her excitement over the end result.
“Me, James Weissinger [Associate Director, HCAH and Operations Manager, VCAM], and Matthew Callinan [Associate Director, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery and Campus Exhibitions] got together [and] looked through all the submissions and there were these 20 really great artists we went with.”
“We have really diverse mediums like photography, printmaking, installations, sculpture, textile, video, creative writing, music, and technology. It’s really exciting! We have students from all four class years [and a] Bryn Mawr student. Half of the students I knew before and half I didn’t, so it was great getting people involved in the arts more heavily [and] getting a pulse of what’s creatively going on on campus,” Carter continued.
The exhibit itself is as multifaceted as Carter explained, with art ranging from prints to technology to poetry. The artist of “Looking Glass,” Izzy Ray ’23, shared the thought process behind the walk-in installation featuring floor to ceiling mirrors, iridescent streamers, and modified heeled boots.
“One thing I wanted to do with my work was make sure the viewer could see themselves reflected in the work and see themselves as people who are themselves worthy of being art. I also just wanted to create something that is really beautiful,” said Ray. “While the message of art is always an important thing, sometimes something can just be really beautiful. I just wanted a space where people could come and see beauty and reflect on themselves.”
Another artist, Will Harris-Braun ’22, also talked about the inspiration behind his piece, an interactive technology installation surrounded by various technical prototypes of different projects and rough sketches.
“I work in the makerspace, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s based on the experience I’ve had of people being intimidated or put off by seeing the things that I’ve made, which is the opposite of how I want them to feel,” said Harris-Braun. “I wanted to show all the work that goes into a shiny finished project and that it’s not so neat. It’s not a magical process where something pops our fully formed, it’s doable. My idea is that all of it [the piece] is some project I worked on paired with earlier prototypes and [the] thoughts behind it and sketches to show the work behind it.”
Poppy Northing ’22 shared her experience as a viewer of the exhibit rather than a contributing artist. “As someone who primarily takes science classes and is a STEM major and doesn’t really get to interact with these kinds of spaces, it’s really great to see what kinds of things people are doing, it’s really incredible,” she stated.
The 20/20 VISION captured the spirit of student work on campus, if only just a snapshot. The creative ways in which each artist manipulated medium and form to convey their intended message is an example of just how innovative Haverford students are. The rest of 2020 is sure to hold many more artistic explorations from the incredibly talented student body, and Haverford’s artistic future is looking bright at the start of this new decade.
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