This Family Weekend, the Bowdoin Art Society (BAS) and Ladd House are co-hosting their 3rd annual art exhibit “340 Miles North.” While the two previous years had themes loosely based on a centered image, this year’s theme is activism.

“Especially with the teach-in happening so recently, it’s a very relevant theme,” said Emily Stewart ’16, co-founder of the BAS and part of the Curatorial Team. “There’s been more activism on the scene, different groups speaking out, diverse opinions, diverse groups, so we’re trying to create a space for conversation between those groups for people who might not be exposed to those opinions otherwise to really listen and experience them in new ways.”

A number of students who are involved in activist groups on campus are going to be part of the exhibition, which Stewart found to be “really cool because they’re going to be responding to the art as well as being part of the art.”

The BAS worked with Visiting Artist Erin Johnson and her digital media class to create a digital installation in the basement that encapsulates the theme of activism. 

The mahogany room of Ladd House has been transformed into a recording studio in which live recordings of students will be screened in the interactive digital installation on Thursday night. Stewart described it as living activist statement.

“We wanted to reflect on what it means to be an activist on a college campus and what it means to just be an activist in general, to look at the things you’re passionate about and translating that into how individual student voices have impacted Bowdoin,” said June Lei ’18, curatorial director of the BAS.

Thomas Rosenblatt ’16, a president of the BAS, conveyed his gratitude to the variety of departments on campus such as the SAFC, Office of Residential Life, the President’s Office, the Dean’s Office and Ladd House, which have helped fund the art show.

“It’s collaboration between departments, professors, students in all four years, student activities, and a college house,” said Rosenblatt.

Both Rosenblatt and Lei expressed that holding the show at a college house and during Family Weekend have positive impacts on the Bowdoin community.

“Many seemingly disjointed parts of campus come together at the show for the greater Bowdoin community,” said Lei. “As the funding reflects it is different parts of Bowdoin, but we can pool them all together and collaborate to create this show.”

As co-hosts of  “340 Miles North,” residents of Ladd House have welcomed the exhibit into their home.

“It’s showing a different side to the houses than people might see on a daily basis,” said Jack Hughes ’17. “And it’s also just nice to have that in your living room.”

Residents of Ladd House have helped the BAS in putting up the artwork and opening up their home for the Family Weekend.

“I’m very excited. Especially excited because it’s during [Family Weekend], and I’m going to be really proud of what Bowdoin students have done and being able to display that to my parents,” said Isel Fitzgerald ’18. “There are some really interesting, provocative pieces that I’ve never seen before, a lot of pieces that have a punch to them, a wow factor.”

With over 200 submissions from 80 different artists, the BAS has, in just three years, created a fostering environment on Bowdoin’s campus for the art community.

“This year especially, we’ve gotten really diverse kinds of art, so lots of different media. We have some original compositions, a lot more video work this year, as well as really awesome sculptures and photographs,” said Stewart. “I think every year we see more and more art that’s sort of breaking the boundaries of what you would think traditional academic college art is. The basement exhibition is the capstone for that.”