Smith Gallery curated to match Faulconer

The small room located next to the entrance of the dining hall, formally known as The Smith Gallery, is currently displaying an exhibit that responds to the student-curated exhibit “Repeat, Reveal, React: Identities in Flux,” in Faulconer Gallery. The Faulconer exhibit, curated by the Art Exhibition Seminar, is a presentation of artwork that reflects the themes of identity and repetition also present in the Faulconer show.
The Art Exhibition Seminar, which is offered once every three years, gives students the opportunity to curate, publicize and present their own exhibit for Faulconer Gallery. Under the guidance of Professor Jenny Anger, the 11 students enrolled in this class spent last semester selecting artwork from the Grinnell College collection that responded the themes of identity and repetition. Other responsibilities included installing the display, publishing the exhibit’s catalog and constructing a similar exhibit in the Smith Gallery.
According to Amanda Underwood ’10, Smith Gallery’s appropriation of Faulconer’s exhibit reflects “a call and response” from the students, to the students. Submissions for The Smith Gallery came from various students representing different class years and artistic style.
For Danny Penny ’13, the Smith exhibit gave him an opportunity to reevaluate the significance of identity within his own work. Although Penny’s work, composed of several studio portraits of fellow students, was produced last fall, presenting his work for the first time has given him an opportunity to see the transformation of the identity of his subjects over time. “It was interesting to look back on my work, and to see how it’s significance, and the people, had changed since then,” Penny said.
Student-artists such as Underwood hope that the student appropriations of Faulconer’s theme will draw campus and community-wide attention to the school’s artistic resources. By incorporating student work into the school’s artistic showcases, they hope to make students feel more involved and invested in the larger workings of the Faulconer Gallery. In addition to bringing student work into the exhibition, the gallery has developed a Facebook fan-page, as well as a Plan under the handle . “We’re really trying to build a social media presence for Faulconer,” Underwood said. “The Smith exhibit is just one of the ways we’re trying to accomplish that goal.”