Stemming from a fall semester project, students developed works exploring the concept of identity, using research to supplement their knowledge. The exhibit is titled, “Reflecting Us: Identities and Interpretations.”
Located in the Manning Academic Center Creative Lounge on Owings Mills North, the exhibit will be featured there through the fall 2019 semester.
During fall 2018, “students from four disciplines researched and analyzed historic and contemporary images, documents, and environments to inspire their understanding, documentation, and presentation of identities. This dialog between the past and present is lyrical in scope and form,” according to the Arts and Cultural Programs website. The installation features book arts, videos, photography, and personal statements.
The artists explained their projects on March 4, in the Creative Lounge.
The gallery displays images from students of many cultural backgrounds, and the artwork captures many different lifestyles, embodying many meanings. There are colorful photographic self-portraits accompanied by reflective poems or bits of wisdom, as well as stark greyscale images of the artists. Some of the works examine the concept of intersectionality as it relates to the artists, sometimes sad, sometimes uplifting.
There are examinations of the connections between identity and place, part of class assignments from the fall term, and the works are altogether wistful, strong, funny, and both intimate and public.
The personal pieces are available for all students and guests to see.
Student artist Steven Schlegel described his work with care and passion. About the photo with Jessica Haines for the exhibit (featured here) he explained: “Trying to show a forbidden love, we showed how non-traditional relationships are still targeted in America.”
Schlegel explained that the American flag, in the photo, is an explicit representation of the inequalities faced in this country. The flag is draped over the models in an effort to blanket or “suffocate” them.
The exhibit is sponsored by Friends of the Gallery, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Baltimore County Arts & Sciences Commission. Additional programming will take place during the fall 2019 semester.