Section: Arts

Gund Gallery lends student dorm rooms an artistic touch

Gund Gallery lends student dorm rooms an artistic touch

A student in Professor Patricia Vigderman’s creative writing class visits the exhibition.

Gund Gallery is moving into the dorms of a few lucky Kenyon students.

Forty-nine students were selected Tuesday in a drawing to claim a work of art from the Gund Gallery’s collection for their dorm.

The gallery’s semester-long art loan program, hosted by Gund Gallery Collections Manager and Registrar Robin Goodman, is back for a second round. The program has expanded since it began last semester, with an extra 15 works available for loan — resulting in a total of 49 — and a turnout that grew from 104 entries to 178 entries.

“The idea is that the art loan program is going to keep growing,” Goodman said. “Now people know what we are trying to do, so they are really behind it.” Goodman believes word-of-mouth has been a big factor in the expansion of the program following its success last semester.

Emma Conover-Crockett’s ’17 name was drawn first for the program last semester, and she chose “Continuance,” a watercolor on paper by Karen Moss, for installation in her Old Kenyon dorm room.

“I think it’s a really great opportunity for students to be able to have really neat pieces of art in their rooms,” Conover-Crockett said. “It’s great for the Kenyon community because it gives students an opportunity to connect with the gallery in a really direct and personal way.”

Students are encouraged to enter the drawing each semester they are on campus. Conover-Crockett submitted an entry for this semester, but her name was not drawn.

The chosen students gathered Tuesday in Gund Gallery to select pieces in the order their names were drawn from the raffle.

Among those students was Maddie Stover ’20, a Collegian copy editor, who was number 36 in line. “It was easier to pick a piece, I think, because my number was closer to the end,” Stover said. “It was really nice to be able to pick something out and have someone in there to help you.”

In the next few days, Gund Gallery associates will come to her Norton Hall room and install “August,” an oil pastel by Mary Anderson Armstrong.

The associates professionally install the already-framed art in a process that takes 30 minutes to an hour.

Chosen students will receive a notebook for them to write down their ideas about the artwork as the semester progresses. The notebooks will be passed on from student to student as the program continues.

Not all the program’s participants are students. Assistant Professor of English Patricia Vigderman is incorporating the art loan program into her creative writing workshop’s syllabus. For the course’s first assignment, she is asking students to pair off, discuss which Gund Gallery piece they would choose if they were roommates and then write about the experience.

“It just seemed obvious,” Vigderman said. “The relationship we have with art is like the relationship we have with another person. It teaches us about ourselves, about the world, and how to think in an aesthetic way.”

Shayne Wagner ’18, a Gund Gallery Associate, is excited that an art loan program similar to those at Oberlin College and Harvard University is taking off at Kenyon.

“Everyone’s first reaction is ‘that’s dumb, it’s going to get wrecked,’ but there’s a long tradition of universities and colleges doing programs like this,” Wagner said. “The whole point is to make art more approachable for students and take it off of the scary white walls.”

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