Members of the Bowdoin Art Society have studied masterpieces of art in the context of the classroom, and now that cultivated lens is turned towards work of a slightly different nature, as student curators transform Ladd House with art created by their peers.
“It’s a really valuable opportunity to engage with the art that’s being made on this campus in a critical way,” said Kinaya Hassane ’19, president of the Bowdoin Art Society.
The sixth annual Fall Art Show is intended as a space for social and communal gathering and, fittingly, will go up at Ladd House. Organizers hope that student-curated installations of student work in a student space will strengthen and highlight the thriving art scene at Bowdoin.
Anticipated highlights include unique dynamic video art, the work of senior art majors Evelyn Beliveau, Camille Farradas and Charlotte Borden and several planned three-dimensional installations.
“Installations are very exciting because they have that instantaneous response, gut reaction,” said Hassane. “But also [students should] just come to see the breadth of what kinds of things people are producing.”
Indeed, great artists are found all around us—friends, floor-mates, lab partners and many familiar faces in the dining halls. Events like the art show allow us to recognize and celebrate their distinct but often modestly hidden talents.
“It’s always amazing to look at the label and be like ‘oh, that’s someone that I know.’” Hassane said. “It’s a big community-building experience as well, and so I really hope that people come through for that.”
Head Curator Amber Orosco ’19, who is also the president of Ladd, sees the show as illuminating the richness of culture and diversity of experiences in the College’s artistic community.
“People at Bowdoin are multifaceted and interesting and not just one singular thing. We are a liberal arts school—this is a prime example of that,” she said.
In a departure from tradition, this year there was no theme limiting the submissions. Orosco says the resulting body of work is far more varied in subject matter and medium.
“By not narrowing it into some contemporary issue that people have to work around, you end up getting this really amazing variety of stuff that’s unexpected and surprising,” she said. “That makes it so much fun for us, but also for the student body to engage with.”
Following an open call, student submissions came flooding in, and Hassane and Orosco carefully considered each. The opportunity to learn the skill of curation, especially in such an unconstrained, creative capacity, has been invaluable for the Bowdoin Art Society leaders.
Their hopes for the event include building community and transcending the limits confining art to traditional, clinical spaces.
“[This space is] something that feels more natural, that you could see in the everyday, and that’s a theme artists work with all the time—what’s in the everyday,” said Orosco.
“It would be great if we could expand the scope of where we encounter art,” Hassane added.
The Bowdoin Art Society seeks to strengthen a culture of art appreciation among family and friends as they pour into Ladd House to celebrate student artists over Family Weekend.
“The culture is definitely there, but we need to continue to cultivate that intentionally, so that people know that their craft is appreciated,” said Hassane.
Though the show proposes a dynamic and fun experience, for the two graduating seniors, its meaning goes beyond the frames.
“We’re getting to the point where we’re adults—sadly—and this is something that we want to continue post-graduation, and it is to be taken on some level of seriousness,” Orosco said. “It’s very lighthearted, because it’s a beautiful display of work, but it’s also what some people want to do with their lives, and we think about that as we’re getting older.”
Hosted by the Bowdoin Art Society and Ladd House and sponsored by Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon, the Fall Art Show will be on display through Sunday.