Marlborough’s Seaver gallery is currently displaying faculty and student art in the first physical galleries after a year of COVID-19 imposed virtual exhibitions, and excitement is growing among students and teachers ready to have in-person shows again.
The first exhibition of the year, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities,” displayed from Monday, Aug. 30 through Friday, Oct. 1, and presented pieces from faculty artists Danielle Ashton, Fatima Hoang, Kathy Rea, Sarah Beadle, Daphna Lapidot, Jena English and gallery coordinator Chelsea Dean.
Their work touched on a multitude of themes ranging from the impact of COVID-19 to Visual Arts Department Head Chelsea Dean’s portrayal of women in media illuminated by the revelations of the “#MeToo” movement.
Dean commented on the meaning behind one of her five installments. Her piece, titled “Bending Over Backwards,” is a collage inspired by the literal and figurative contortions women must impose upon themselves to survive a society in which misogyny is so prevalent.
“My work has never really been autobiographical, but this felt very personal,” Dean said. “Reflecting on my own experiences as a woman, it is not just connected to men violating women. It is also connected to how women are shamed, how people don’t believe you, how there are cliques and body-shaming and slut-shaming. All of it. And just thinking of collectively what those experiences do to you over time.”
The year of quarantine gave many people space to reflect, and artists at Marlborough found inspiration within the unprecedented isolation of the time.
The next show, “In the Stillness of Remembering,” features student work made in response to the year of quarantine. It will be exhibited from Monday, Oct. 11 to Friday, Nov. 5.
Katie ‘23 is contributing to the exhibition. Katie translated the impact of the pandemic into her work. Her piece depicts layers of blue matter enveloping a bare, rosy-cheeked figure. The figure is clutching flower petals in their gently closed palms.
“This piece was inspired by quarantine, but specifically that feeling of being really quiet and really calm and sort of floating in my own empty space,” Katie said. “Making something out of this horrible stagnation and finding a safe space inside of myself in the chaos of it all.”
Dean and Katie encourage all members of the Marlborough community to attend the “In the Stillness of Remembering” show.
COVID-19 has altered so many lives, and Katie believes that is time to once more find connection through creation.
“There’s something very sexy about walking around looking at art in person,” Katie said.