The Horn Gallery has hosted big names like Mitski, Killer Mike, Macklemore, Frankie Cosmos and Danny Brown — but the space functions as more than just a concert venue. Over the years, it has functioned as an art gallery, spoken word performance space and museum. This semester, Horn Gallery managers Adelaide Sandvold ’18 and Nicky Ogilvie-Thompson ’19 are encouraging students to take advantage of the Gallery’s versatility.
Last year, the Horn Gallery hosted Hannah Johnston’s ’20 “I Have Fears” art showcase; Natasha Preston’s ’17 “Conversations,” a one-woman spoken word performance; and the Kenyon Review’s annual “Poem In Your Pocket Day” performance. This semester, Sandvold and Ogilvie-Thompson hope to bring more independent student projects into the space.
“Apart from booking bands, which has been our main focus, we are looking to support student artists this semester,” Ogilvie-Thompson said. The managers hope to do this by clarifying that the Horn Gallery is not just a venue for events funded by and managed by the Horn Gallery student board. Ogilvie-Thompson added that anyone affiliated with a registered student organization is able to use Kenyon’s reservation system to reserve the Gallery without cost.
“We’re doing our best to just have the Horn be an open space,” Ogilvie-Thompson said. “People don’t know this and people don’t think this, but anyone can reserve the space.” Rose Bialer ’20 and Baxter King-Epping ’20 are two students who have taken advantage of this policy and partnered with the Gallery to plan a show.
Bialer and King-Epping’s show, LOVE(D), which goes up on Feb. 14 in the Lower Horn Gallery, will feature a collection of student-submitted mementos from past relationships. Each object on display will have a small blurb explaining its significance. In the evening, starting at 9 p.m., there will be an open mic event, inviting students to share poetry, stories and songs.
The event takes inspiration from the Museums of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles, Calif., and Zagreb, Croatia, which accept mementos for display from past relationships submitted from all over the globe. “It’s supposed to be kind of tongue-in-cheek; it’s not supposed to be a sad event,” Bialer said. “It’s going to be an emotional, tender space.”
Bialer and King-Epping were also inspired by the “I Have Fears” show in the Gallery last semester. Johnston had complained to Bialer how frustrating it could be to put events together on the Hill before she realized the Gallery was an option. “At Kenyon it really is possible, if you have an idea, to put on a show — there’s no one really stopping you,” Bialer said. “We decided to turn our idea into a collaborative student event, and thought we might as well do it on Valentine’s Day.”
“We don’t expect it to be a huge thing, but we expect it will be a fun thing for everyone who comes and submits something,” King-Epping added.
In addition to unfunded projects like LOVE(D), Ogilvie-Thompson and Sandvold are looking to attract student projects to the Gallery that would otherwise be prohibited by cost through providing grants. With $21,000 from the Business and Finance Committee (BFC) and a $500 gift from an alumnus, the managers are inviting students to apply for art grants.
“We are looking for people who want to apply for art grants, which entails people coming to us and requesting the funds, and us sending them a contract that is essentially the same contract we send to visiting artists and bands,” Ogilvie-Thompson said.
Students can use these grants, of up to approximately $400, to organize projects in the Gallery. Ogilvie-Thompson added that students are free to plan and operate their event independently like Bialer and King-Epping, but that he and Sandvold are open to helping students realize their shows.